Roundups Archives - Percolate Kitchen

12 Cooks Reveal Their BEST Butternut Squash Recipes for the Holidays

I love making butternut squash recipes in the winter and fall, especially for the holidays! this is a great roundup. She's even got a cool tip about how to slice a butternut squash- i was so scared the first time, but her idea really worked!

I’ve always had a thing for finding new butternut squash recipes; especially for the holidays! There’s something almost addicting about their slightly nutty, slightly sweet, creamy texture and flavor.

Butternut squash is at its best between the months of September and March; part of why it’s such a great recipe to have in the fall.

 

“The only problem I can find with butternut squash is that I can’t stop eating it!”, says Jessica from Coffee and Crayons (her delicious recipe for 5 Ingredient Oven Roasted Garlic and Herb Butternut Squash is below!)

And I have to say, I 1,000,000% agree. You can find butternut squash on our table most nights throughout the fall and winter.

So when I started planning my Thanksgiving menu for the year, my eye kept turning to butternut squash. I love it for its simplicity; one of my all-time fave ways to eat butternut squash is cubed and roasted with olive oil and salt.

Which reminds me: have you ever found yourself trying to cut a ginormous butternut squash and it feels like an impossible task? Me, too! Sometimes I feel like I’m gonna cut my whole arm off along with the squash.

Here’s one of my favorite kitchen tips for slicing a hard-to-cut butternut squash: pop it in the microwave for 10-30 seconds first! This will soften the skin enough so that the knife slips right in.

Of course, that’s not so easy when you have a jumbo sized squash on your hands inside a teeny tiny kitchen with a small microwave to match, but oh well. it’ll work in most instances #tinykitchenproblems

IF YOU LIKE BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPES, I THINK YOU’LL ALSO LOVE THESE, TOO! 

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Thanksgiving Turkey With Herb Butter Seasoning

This is How To Store Your Fall Produce

So now that you’re armed with some easy-slicin’ squash, let’s get to some fab recipes that feature it, ok? Ok!

Oh, but first: if you’re trying to get your Thanksgiving plans in order, I’ve got a Survival Guide for that! Click here to check out the detail on my awesomely comprehensive Thanksgiving Survival Guide, packed full of recipes, cheat sheets, charts, lists and more, so you can be on top of your Thanksgiving planning this year.

(If you’re even the slightest bit overwhelmed by cooking for Thanksgiving, you need this guide in your life!)

All right! On to the recipes!

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta, from Jenn at Peas and Crayons

I love the pop of color that cranberries bring to this dish! Plus, everything is better with cheese. Salty feta is a great balance to the creamy butternut squash and the tart cranberries. This would look fab on a holiday table spread! Click here for the recipe.

Easy Garlic Herb Roasted Butternut Squash, from Katie at Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Garlic and herby butter coat roasted butternut squash cubes here. It’s a simple dish made by first roasting butternut squash in the oven, then tossing it with garlicky butter and freshly minced herbs. This seems like the kind of recipe that would be even better on Day Two (and so perfect for a make-ahead power hour side!) Click here for the recipe.

Easy Butternut Squash Skillet, from Tiffany at Eat at Home

Disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Tiffany’s. She shares not only simple, easy-to-follow recipes, but she’s a meal planning genius as well. Her newsletter always has tons of great value. And I love this easy, simple butternut squash skillet side. It’s cooked in the cast iron pan, one of my must-have kitchen items! Click here for the recipe. 

5 Ingredient Oven Roasted Garlic and Herb Butternut Squash from Jessica at Coffee and Crayons, guest posting for Rachael at Eazy Peazy Meals 

Only 5 ingredients!? Sign me up, seriously. Jessica at Coffee and Crayons guest posted on EZPZ Meals with this incredibly simple butternut squash recipe, and I fell in love at first sight. This is an easy recipe to make on the side when you’ve got something a little more complicated cooking, like a full Thanksgiving meal. It shows that you really don’t need to get all detailed and crazy to have a good side dish! Click here to get the recipe.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash from Karen at 365 Days of Slow Cooking

We were discussing the idea of using our slow cookers for holiday cooking over in my Facebook group, Busy Mamas Cooking in Tiny Kitchens, and afterward, I fell down a Pinterest rabbit hole of holiday dishes made in the slow cooker. That’s how I found this deliciously simple butternut squash in the slow cooker recipe! Our general consensus during that Facebook chat was that yes, using a slow cooker is an awesome way to free up stovetop space and have a hands-off approach to holiday cooking. So this recipe from 365 Days of Slow Cooking fits right in with that! Click here to get the recipe. 

Butternut Squash Homefries from the Stacie and Jessica at the Real Food RD’s

How genius is this idea!? I love a good plate of crispy, creamy, fried potato homefries, but subbing butternut squash in place of potatoes blew my mind when I saw this. It’s such a great idea, saves calories, and tastes incredible! Click here for the recipe

Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Gratin from Land O’ Lakes 

I love the chewy texture of farro and it’s one of my favorite additions to add into holiday and seasonal salads. That’s why I got so pumped to find this butternut squash gratin dish, and even more thrilled that it also calls for kale! I think the nutritional benefits of farro, squash and kale balance out the butter and heavy cream. Eat this one in good health. Click for the recipe. 

Butternut Squash with Wilted Spinach and Blue Cheese from Whole Foods

This is another deceptively simple recipe that calls for only a few ingredients but delivers huge flavors. I love the pungent blue cheese mixed with creamy roasted butternut squash, and the wilted spinach adds heft to the dish. Click here to get the recipe.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan, from Angela at Oh She Glows

Kale, almonds, pecan, parmesan cheese, skillet cooked, roasted butternut squash… this recipe is everything I love about a fall dish AND include cheese. It’s a keeper and I plan on putting this one into some serious rotation. Click here for the recipe. 

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets, from Julia at the Roasted Root

Maple roasted butternut squash for sweetness and flavor, roasted beets for color and health benefits, the whole thing together for maximum tastiness and a gorgeous presentation. I love this combo of roasted goodness from Julia, and her funny take on why we need more beets in our lives was an entertaining read as well. Click here for the recipe. 

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash, from the Sonia at the Healthy Foodie

Sonia keeps it real and proves that a great dish is found in the quality of the ingredients and the use of good technique. She roasts her butternut squash to perfection but makes sure it browns nicely in the oven, getting a great caramelized crust in the process. She says, “Caramelization really is the key with this dish. You’d be surprised what it brings to the squash in terms of depth and flavor.” Click here to get the recipe. 

Roasted Bacon and Butternut Squash Side Dish, from Tracy at Baking Mischief

Everything is better with bacon, isn’t it!? Tracy ups the tasty factor to 11 by adding crispy, salty, delicious bacon to roasted butternut squash. It’s a perfect balance of texture and flavor and I can’t wait to try it out! Click here for the recipe.

There you have it; 12 of the BEST butternut squash recipes for your holiday table!

Which one do you think you’ll make first this year?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious about cooking evvvvverything for Thanksgiving this year, check out my gotta-have-it Thanksgiving Survival Guide!

Each guide is packed with traditional recipes, meal plans, grocery lists, worksheets, timelines, and more.

It’s all you need to get you totally large and in charge of your holiday feats this year, minus the rushing around and the overwhelm. It’s a huge help!

Tips and Ingredient Substitutions To Make You a Damn Better Baker

I like how she lays out really easy to follow tips and ideas to be a better baker! I saved the pdf to my phone and it's super easy to use, with ingredient substitutions and little hacks i can use when I'm baking stuff like cookies or cake. Super handy!

I like how she lays out really easy to follow tips and ideas to be a better baker! I saved the pdf to my phone and it's super easy to use, with ingredient substitutions and little hacks i can use when I'm baking stuff like cookies or cake. Super handy!

I’ll ‘fess up: baking is not my strong suit. So over the years, I’ve hoarded all the baking tips, hacks and ingredient substitutions I could find, hoping they could help me learn to be a better baker.

And you know what? They’ve helped!

I’ve gone from making horribly rock-solid cookies, sunken cakes and dirty-tasting brownies, to making deliciously airy meringues and moist, yummy cakes.

I’ll probably always be on the lookout for sneaky tricks that make me be a better baker, but I’ve gotten a heck of a lot better than I was.

I’ve been keeping most of the hacks, tips, and tricks I find stored away in a big fat Evernote file.

Because I’m me and I’m obsessed with organizing my Evernote, I’ve got every tip tagged. That way, I can quickly search something like “butter substitution” when I find myself stuck.

(Which reminds me. The image below is one of my fave baking hacks, especially for when I suddenly discover I’m short on butter!)

In any case, I’ve got the whole list of all my fave hacks, tips, ingredient substitutions right here for ya!

Keep this list handy in your back pocket and you’ll maybe be a halfway decent baker like me someday (HIGH FIVE!)

Oh, and I have a bonus for you! I created a handy-dandy little printable of my fave baking ingredient substitutions. Print it out and hang it up, save it, or even just save the pdf straight to the home screen on your phone. It might come in handy!

Just fill out your email below to grab it!

HERE ARE MY ALL-TIME FAVE BAKING HACKS AND TIPS TO MAKE YOU A DAMN BETTER BAKER:

»Take the chill away: Let your eggs and milk come to room temperature before using.

»Weight over volume: When possible, weigh your ingredients instead of using a measuring cup or spoon. It’s a lot more accurate!

»Turn them around: Rotate your baked goods in the oven halfway through baking.

MAKE LIGHT AND AIRY BISCUITS:

KEEP THAT FLOUR FRESH

»No peeking! Keep the oven door closed while your item is baking. This one I learned the hard way (it’s the number one cause of sunken cakes!)

»Make your own powdered sugar: pulse it in the food processor or blender until it’s super fine.

»Cold hands, warm heart, better bread. It’s way easier to knead with cool hands, but I tend to run hot in the best of situations (especially when I’m breakin’ a sweat kneading dough!) If my hands start to get too hot, I’ll run them under cool water for a bit. It helps the dough knead way easier.

SKIP THE FLOURED SURFACE

MIX YOUR BUTTER BETTER

That’s it! Go forth and bake like the badass you are.

Got more tips and ideas? I wanna hear them! Leave your favorites in the comments, or drop me a line on social media. My profile links are at the top of the page!

HERE’S THE DOWNLOAD LINK  TO THE PRINTABLE BAKING SUBSTITUtION AGAIN! IT’S SUPER HANDY- I HOPE YOU LOVE IT!

10+ Cooking Tips, Tricks and Hacks That Will Save You An Insane Amount of Time

10+ Cooking Hacks That Will Save You an Insane Amount of Time in the Kitchen | I never would have thought of some of these awesome cooking tips and tricks! Seriously, totally life changing. I can't wait to get into the kitchen and try out some of these; there are great cooking tips for beginners and i can use all the extra time i can get

Here’s a secret: cooking dinner doesn’t always have to take so dang long. Using sneaky cooking hacks can save you ridonkulous amounts of time!

Because let me be the first to tell you: Even though I love creating, developing and testing recipes, there is plenty of times in a normal week when I just need to get in, get out, and get dinner on the table. Preferably with as few children hanging off my legs as possible.

This need for speed means I also have a slight obsession with cooking hacks, tips and tricks! I love finding nifty little ideas that save me time and effort.

So for the times when you’re rushed, using a little cooking hack here and there means you won’t have to sacrifice time or flavor.

Plus? Having some cool cooking hacks up your sleeve means you feel like you CAN conquer your kitchen at the end of a busy day, instead of picking up the phone to order takeout again.

What’s a cooking “hack”, you may ask?

In the media today, “hack” can have kind of a scary connotation, I know. We’re always hearing it in connection with cyber attacks.

But really, when used lightheartedly, “hack” just means a cool tip or trick. It means using a move or idea that you don’t normally think of to produce a handy shortcut.

So here’s what I did: I went all through the interwebz, and i spoke to a bunch of other food bloggers, recipe developer, and kitchen peeps, and I assembled this list of their fave hacks!

I mean, what’s a better list than one filled with advice from people who spend a ton of time in their kitchen?

Check out what each had to say below, and click through to read the full posts! And, if you’ve got em, I’d LOVE to hear your favorite hacks or shortcuts in the comments!

HACKS & RECIPES & COUPONS, OH MY!

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Spray a little PAM on the spoon or in the cup before you measure

Yep, the first one is ME! This is my all-time fave cooking ‘hack’- if you spray a little cooking spray on, or even brush on a little oil, your honey or syrup will slide right off and give you an accurate measure, every time.

Cut yourself a break with pre-cut veggies

Olivia, from Howell Media House, saves her busy self extra time by buying pre-cut veggies and ingredients. “And I always buy precut onions and carrots!” she says. 

When caramelizing onions, save some and freeze the rest

Such a smart idea from Cynthia, on the Percolate Kitchen Facebook Page! Caramelizing onions can take forever, but the flavor is worth it. Cynthia very smartly makes extra onions and freezes them so all she has to do is remove and thaw later on. 

Freeze cooked rice to use at a later date!

Just like Cynthia does with her caramelized onions, Jayme, from NoRegretsLiving.com and writing for Nicole at MomSavesMoney.net makes more rice than she needs to and saves the rest for later. I love this tip! All you have to do is thaw and reuse.(hint: I even do this when we have leftover takeout rice!)

Got a Keurig 2.0? Hack the daylights out of it

This tip is less about saving time than it is a handy hack to have, but I’m including it because my husband and I have a Keurig 2.0 and it’s so picky with the brand of pods it uses! Rachel from MashUpMom has four awesome hacks to save the day though, all of which make it easier to use third-party cups in our Keurig 2.0. #happydance

Make yogurt in your crockpot

I’m so excited that this works! It’s such a handy tip, especially if you and your family go through yogurt at an astonishing rate. Kristen from Joyfully Thriving has the details on this awesome crockpot hack. 

Cut into an onion without cueing the waterworks

We’ve all been there: we slice into an onion and then can’t seem to stem the flow of tears for the next 10 minutes! That’s why I’m loving this tip from Jenny at the Jenny Evolution, which is basically going to save your waterproof mascara from running down your cheeks. 

Make ice cream without an ice cream maker

Got a hankering for ice cream but stuck at home without an ice cream maker? Here’s how you make it, plus two other handy kitchen hacks from Jessica at AllSheCooks.com

Make pasta and chase kids without burning the house down

Darcie, over at Naturbaker, shared this handy tip on her Instagram for effortless pasta cooking, and I had a total “aha moment” over it! I see a lot more pasta on busy nights that don’t require me babysitting the pot while it boils.

Cook beets in half the time with this simple hack

If you’re in the “love ’em!” camp for beets, this trick will help you immensely in the kitchen! They can take ages to cook, but Jacqueline from SimplyelectableRecipes.com shared this with me the other day: “Beets have less cooking time when vinegar is added to the water! Just add 1 tbsp vinegar to a quart of beets and cook as normal. Also, cook them with skins on to keep color and flavor intact.” Freaking genius. 

Make your own buttermilk substitute with stuff you’ve got already

The tang of buttermilk is not only crazy tasty, it’s essential to some recipes; but if you’re out of it and don’t feel like a special trip to the store, this simple hack gets you back to cooking in no time. Says Heather from The Messy Little Kitchen(Just add) 1 tablespoon of vinegar or apple cider vinegar (sweeter, my preference) into a liquid measure and fill it up to 1 cup. Also, it works super well with coconut milk if you’re looking for dairy free!

What’s your favorite hack to use in your kitchen?

This post on the Percolate Kitchen Facebook Page is what inspired pulling all of these together. If you’ve got a great idea, click on the post and add your own. I’d LOVE to hear it!

And that’s it- 10 (plus!) cooking hacks that will save you an insane amount of time in the kitchen.

If you’re excited for even more weekly cooking hacks, plus tons of other cool content dropped straight into your inbox every week, sign up for the Percolate Newsletter!

HACKS & RECIPES & COUPONS, OH MY!

get access to more cooking hacks, meal planning tips, foodie discounts, recipe videos, and more, sent straight to your inbox each week.

Percolate Kitchen subscribers get a ton of cool stuff just like this, every week in the Percolate Newsletter.

Add your email and get cool stuff, too!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

17 Food Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Foodie

(This page contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

WHEN IT COMES TO CHRISTMAS, I GOT THE FOOD GIFT IDEAS ON LOCK.

In fact, they’re my favorite kind of gift to give! (Are you surprised by this?)

I also love food gifts because they make awesome stocking stuffers. 

You see, popping cute and interesting food gifts in Christmas stockings equals less tiny little toys and crayons that I have to pick up on Christmas morning. See why they’re my favorite kind of gift?

Plus, when you find cool food gift ideas, it’s kind of like finding a new little treasure.

I’m not so sure I’d find a valid reason to buy myself an adorable pistachio bowl any old time of the year, but I sure as heck would buy it at Christmas! 

So with that in mind, I gathered together this awesome little list of new and interesting food gift ideas, just for you!

Take a peek around and see what tickles your food gift fancy; and if you buy any of it, let me know how it tastes/works/etc! 

FOX PADDLE GRATER

How freaking cute is this little guy!? Made of brushed aluminum and all-rubber features, this little fox is too sweet. It’s a great gift for kids who are just getting into the kitchen, and small enough to be tucked into a backpack for a picnic.

ALE-IGATOR BOTTLE OPENER

I adore this little guy. As if it wasn’t fun enough to open a beer, now you get to do it with an “ALE-igator”! (Get it!?) Buy it here for yourself or your fave drink afficianado.

“OMG, MY MOTHER WAS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING” TEA TOWEL

Speaking as a mother who has a mother of my own, I would just like to say… it’s true. This tea towel is completely true. Speak the truth in your kitchen and buy it here. 

HAMILTON BEACH BREAKFAST SANDWICH MAKER

Imagine waking up in the morning and eating a hot, cheesy, salty, eggy breakfast sandwich… without ever leaving the house! This cool little gadget has a spot for each component of the perfect breakfast sandwich, and it’s compact enough to fit neatly on your countertop.

WOWLY PISTACHIO BOWL

I love the cheery yellow of this pistachio bowl, but it’s got an even cooler factor: the little compartment underneath to store pistachio shells! Get it here for almost 2/3 off the original price. 

UPRIGHT SPOON HOLDER

Got someone who loves cooking, but hates placing their spoon on the countertop? This pretty upright spoon holder sits next to the stovetop and lends a space to rest the spoon between stirring. It’ll hang on to your spoon collection as well, if you want to keep it clean. And it’s a steal at this price!

MURRAY’S CHEESE OF THE MONTH CLUB

Ful disclosure, my husband bought this for me for Mother’s Day and it is the BEST. Every month, Murray’s sends me 3 distinctly different types of cheeses in a box lined with cold-storage bags. The cheeses also come with information about the creamery, the cheese itself, sometimes a little history, and pairing notes. It’s the highlight of my food month, for sure. Send this awesome gift to a cheese lover you know with this link.  (new members get 10% off!)

JAPANESE SNACK PACK

The Japanese just do food well. From sushi to miso soup to ramen to amazing snacks, it’s a country that knows the human palate well! This snack pack gets you tons of different type of snacks and goodies, and it’s surprisingly inexpensive. It’s perfect for the world-traveler and the couch surfer alike! 

FAMILY BREAKFAST GIFT BASKET FROM STONEWALL KITCHEN

Who doesn’t love breakfast foods!? Each of these sweetly packed baskets includes: Maine Maple Syrup, Wild Strawberry Jam,  Double Chocolate Pancake & Waffle Mix,  Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix,  Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix, Blueberry Muffin Mix, and Cinnamon Bun Mix. It’s a perfect start to any day, especially at the holidays. Buy this Stonewall Family Breakfast Basket for someone you know who loves curling up in their pj’s with a hot cup of coffee on Sunday mornings.

OMAHA STEAK BOX 

I’ve sent Omaha Steaks as a holiday gifts a few times in the past, and it’s always been a gift that is welcomed with open arms. It’s also the gift that keeps on giving, since you can choose from a wide variety of box options; my parents live in Northern Michigan where it’s not exactly grilling weather in the winter, so they cook up the sausages and use the condiments Omaha sends and store the steaks in the freezer til summer, when they can bust out the grill. Send a popular Omaha Steak variety box to your loved ones with this link. 

HEDGEHOG BOWL

This adorable bowl is perfect for parties, weeknight dinner, your key bowl, and more! I love how the little hedgehog is a surprise at the bottom. Get this guy for the hedgehog lovers of adorableness in your life. 

BLUEBERRY BATTER BOWL GIFT SET 

I am in love with this sweet little blueberry printed batter bowl from Stonewall! It’s just the cheery thing you want to turn to in the mornings when you’re making breakfast; it also comes with blueberry syrup. blueberry jam, and pancake/waffle mix. Click here to buy for someone you’s love to make breakfast with!

DEAN & DELUCA SPIRAL CUT HONEY HAM 

I feel like a good ham is a perfect gift; it covers every single meal of the day, it travels well, and the bone can be used for soup after! Buy this spiral cut honey ham for someone you want to help out for a few meals or ten. 

DEAN & DELUCA JAMAICAN SPICE RUB

Slightly spicy, a little sweet, with nutty notes- this is a fabulous jerk seasoning rub! It makes an easy weeknight chicken dish. Buy it here for the busy person you know who loves jerk chicken. 

SUNBASKET GIFT BOX

I’m a new convert to Sunbasket, a delivery meal kit with a purpose. I love how easy their system is! You choose from some seriously delicious recipes, and all the packaging they send is easily recyclable. Send a basket to a busy person you know who could use easy, flavorful dinner choices.  

That’s It! Happy shopping! 

If you buy any of these items and love them- I wanna hear about it! Drop me a line on Twitter or Instagram and fill me in.

9 Simple Ways You Can Organize a Tiny Kitchen

My tiny rental kitchen drives me insane lately! I feel like i can never get good kitchen organization going and i never can find things when I need them. I like how she lays out a bunch of different ideas here so you can find something that works for your tiny space, on a budget and diy.

The pain of organizing a tiny kitchen something I know all too well.

Since moving out of my parent’s house, I’ve lived in approximately 15 homes; exactly one of those had a big, spacious kitchen. The rest have all been…. eclectic.

Maybe ‘itsy-bitsy’ is a more appropriate word?

In any case, I’m no stranger to figuring out tiny kitchen organization and working with mini amounts of counter space, itty-bitty cabinets, and fridges that would feel at home in a college dorm.

And yet – I’ve worked as a freelance, at-home recipe tester, and recipe developer for almost 7 years now, all within a tiny kitchen. I’ve cooked full Thanksgiving dinners for 15 with only 3 feet of counter space

I’ve never been one to let a tiny kitchen area get in the way of my cooking.

And you know what? Kitchen organization simply comes down to being creatively utilizing what you already have!

So with that, I’ve scoured the interwebs to come up with 9 of the coolest ideas I could find for organizing your small kitchen space, without hiring a contractor or storing pots and pans in your bedroom.

Make sure to click on each photo and description to check out the full posts so you can get all the juicy details.

 

FOLLOW MY KITCHEN ORGANIZATION IDEAS BOARD ON PINTEREST FOR EVEN MORE GREAT DIY AND STORAGE IDEAS! 

GET ON TOP OF ALL THINGS KITCHEN

ORGANIZATION WITH THIS SIMPLE EBOOK

Make the Most of Your Kitchen

A few months ago, I wrote a series of posts demonstrating how you can ‘make the most of your kitchen’. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a huge farmhouse kitchen, or just a wall with a fridge, a stove, and a small counter; with a few tips, the right appliances, and some simple know-how, I’ll show you how you can make any small kitchen organization ‘hack’ work for your space.

I’ve compiled the posts and their accompanying recipes (there are 22!) into this simple, free ebook – click to check it out here and download it to your phone for easy reading!

PREP INGREDIENTS BEFOREHAND

AND CLEAN & ORGANIZE AS YOU GO

Tips to Keep Plastic Containers Organized In The Kitchen

Ellen over at Confessions of an Overworked Mom put together a great post about best practices for storing your plastic and glass food containers. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who sometimes finds storage options of our food containers to be the bane of my existence!

Ellen has a few simple tips for what to look for in storage options, what to keep and throw away, and the best ways you can store those food containers without losing your mind or being buried under plastic lids.

What Is Mise en Place? Preparing Your Kitchen

Shelley from TwoHealthyKitchens is a woman after my own heart. I learned the importance of mise en place while in cooking school and it’s still a habit that I’m glad to have; it makes cooking meals so much easier and faster.

I love Shelley’s words: ” In the 15 years that I’ve had kids, I have rarely cooked an uninterrupted meal. Plan on it – and embrace mise en place as the key to cooking sanity.” Hear, hear, girlfriend! Mise en place is a total sanity saver. Check out the rest of Shelley’s post here. 

 

How to Clean Your Oven (Without Using the Self Cleaning Feature) 

Jessica at AllSheCooks has broken it down here, with tips on how to clean your oven the right way, without using the self-cleaning oven feature.

I too have fallen victim to the self-cleaning oven dream; that is until I used the feature at my mother’s house and her kitchen filled with smoke. Whoops!

Make sure to also check out her tips for cleaning the top of a gas stove; especially those hard to clean hob grates!

USE DIY STORAGE IDEAS FOR KIDS’ SNACKS

AND PANTRY ITEMS

Stocking a Kid Pantry

This idea from Christina at the ShirleyJourney is so smart, it’s the first idea on this list that I plan on fully implementing right away. She’s taken a small bathroom cupboard and turned it into a kid’s snack center! What’s more, she has a great idea for making sure her 4-year-old doesn’t blow through the snacks in a day; I’m thinking I may have to take her up on that idea as well.

She’s taken a small bathroom cupboard and turned it into a kid’s snack center! What’s more, she has a great idea for making sure that even with free access to his snacks, her 4-year-old doesn’t blow through the whole stash in a day; I’m thinking I may have to take her up on that idea as well. What’s more, it helps solve the small kitchen organization problem by moving some of the snacks from the cupboard and into their own designated area.

Organize Your Pantry: Tips From Readers 

Nicole from MomSavesMoney asked her readers how they organize their pantry… and they had some great ideas! I never knew all the ways you could use an over-the-door shoe organizer, but clearly, it’s smart.

However, my all-time fave idea on this list is from her reader Nikki S.: her meal planning idea is cheap and genius! Simply organize your dry goods items in dollar store tubs designated for each day of the week…. it’s so smart. Click through to the post to see what I mean.

Secrets Big Families Use to Stay Organized in the Kitchen 

Sarah from Must Have Mom has what is possibly the cutest kitchen in Minnesota.

She’s put together a handful of great ideas for a kitchen command center, keeping all-important garbage bags at the ready, a menu board, I’m loving her super smart way she keeps from having to wash a thousand kids’ cups every day.

DIY Drawer Organizers 

If you’re like me, you probably have a crapton of Amazon boxes lying around. Or cereal boxes. Or diaper boxes! Damjana from AppleGreenCottage has such a cute, cheap (free!) idea for turning your old cardboard boxes into free drawer organizers and drawer dividers.

These would be handy for keeping a junk drawer or random utensil drawer a little less haphazard!

DIY Spice Rack Without Using Counter Space 

Leanna from Faeries and Fauna Craft Co has put together this crazy-helpful DIY tutorial for building a spice rack on the inside door of your pantry! I love that this means you can just glance at your spices without having to dig around.

There you have it; 9 super easy ways to organize your small kitchen and pantry spaces like the boss you are.

Honestly, I thought I was kind of on top of my own kitchen organization, but after finding all these ideas, I’m pretty sure I’ve got more work to do! Don’t forget to follow my Kitchen Organization board on Pinterest, and if you’ve got some great kitchen organization ideas that the world needs to know about, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

39+ Kid-Approved After School Snack and Lunch Box Ideas

 

It isn’t always easy finding snacks and lunch box ideas that kids will eat, so I’ve rounded up some ideas from a couple of my fave food bloggers to help inspire you!

When my daughter (now 3) was a baby, she ate everything. It was great! I felt like the best mom ever, smugly feeding her all kinds of foods and saying things like, “Oh, it’s just what she’s used to!”

Now, with a mind of her own and a beautifully stubborn attitude to match, she would be thrilled to live on a diet of goldfish crackers and air. I’m hoping this is all a phase and just trying to go with the flow. In the meantime, though, I’m on a constant search for healthy-ish, tasty, quick and easy meals and snacks I can make for her that won’t wind up cast aside by her, ah, discerning palate.

Want to see more ideas for lunch box ideas and after school snacks?

Click to follow my Pinterest board, Baby and Kid Approved! It’s full of quick and simple kid-friendly meal ideas, and I add new stuff to it all the time.


On to the meal ideas!

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Nutella Pastries by Percolate Kitchen

With just five ingredients and 25 minutes, these flaky, sweet little Peanut Butter, Banana, and Nutella Pastries are the easiest dessert ever.

Apple Cookies by NaturBaker 

Kid-Approved Snack Ideas from The Messy Little Kitchen

20 Freezer Friendly Lunchbox Items from Kidgredients

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese from Percolate Kitchen

Pick-and-Choose Kid’s Packed Lunch Chart from Percolate Kitchen

Use these ideas to make your kid's packed lunch even faster! Pick one food item from each section. There's even space to add in your own favorites!

Chocolate Banana Cupcake Muffins from NaturBaker 


Annnnnd, in case you missed it, I just featured Back to School Lunch Week on the Percolate Kitchen Facebook Page!

You can find all my lunch related posts on Facebook, including recipe videos, Facebook Live, even a gif of me and peanut butter (really!)

You might also like:

Picky Eaters? Here are 13 Kid-Approved Recipes from Percolate Kitchen

17 Easy Sheet Pan Dinners for Busy Nights

5-Minute Blender Green Goddess Dressing