Friday, February 6, 2015

34 Weeks of Clean Challenge: Recipes

This was a good week!  The 34 Weeks of Cleaning Challenge was Recipes--organizing the loose ones, as well as cookbooks.  Then there was a surprise bonus challenge from another blogger who is participating, and that involved sharing a recipe.  So here we go!

First of all, I was excited that the cleaning challenge was Recipes.  Not because I fancy myself a cook or anything.  Far from it.  I was excited because I felt like this would be a relatively easy challenge.  I don't have a mess of index cards, magazines tear-outs, or printed recipes to organize.

The biggest reason I don't have all those recipes to use is that everything is online.  Let me repeat myself.  Everything is online.  If you see a recipe on a box of food or in a magazine, it's going to be online somewhere.  So I just Google it when I'm ready to try it out.  Or if I come across a recipe online that looks interesting, I might Pin It.  I generally pull recipes up on the iPad, because I can have it nearby while I'm cooking, and there's no need to print the recipe.  I have to say, this is one (maybe the only) place where I've never had a problem with clutter.  HA!

Follow Brittney's board Food Stuff on Pinterest.

The second part of the challenge involved cookbooks.  Our cookbooks are stashed in a far cabinet that is part of the eat-in kitchen area, not part of the main kitchen.  The cookbooks share a cabinet with some of our school supplies--mostly art supplies that are inaccessible to the toddler, but easily accessible near the table where we do art projects.  This is one of the cabinets that I didn't get to during the Cabinets and Drawers week.  Obviously.

I figured now was a good time to get myself almost caught up on the cabinets since the cookbooks are there.  Sort of a two-birds with one stone thing.

There's an in-progress picture.  I'll obviously never make it into any kind of Housekeeping magazine.  The printer and purse were already on the counter, but most of the mess was disorganization.  I put some books back on the kids bookshelves, put some educational DVDs away, threw away a little junk, and pulled a few cookbooks and a slinky (?) to donate.  I would have pulled more cookbooks, but cookbooks are to my husband's kitchen what living books are to my homeschool.  So they stay.

I have the cookbooks across the top with a bunch of art supplies.  The bottom is The bottom is ARTistic Pursuits and another art book, as well as various art supplies and papers to go with it.  A LEGO cup with pens and pencils, a small basket with extra gadget chargers, and printer paper. I have several Life of Fred books here too, because I haven't done my school/bookshelves since getting them.

This is the far right portion of the cabinet.  The rest of the cookbooks on top, with more art supplies on bottom.  The black basket is the smaller random art stuff that was lost in the previous mess.

Sharing a Recipe
Carol from Home Sweet Life is also participating in this cleaning challenge, and her teen daughter suggested we each share a forgotten recipe that we re-discovered during this challenge.  Since I wasn't really going through recipes I didn't find anything, so I took a different approach.  The husband just bought a ton of produce and I wanted to find some different ways to use it up this week, so I perused the cookbooks.  From Jamie Deen's Good Food I found a recipe called Grilled Rainbow Chopped Salad and we had everything in it, thanks to Husband's shopping spree!

I won't share the recipe for copyright reasons, but here is his Food Network version, which is very close to the one in the cookbook:  Chopped Grilled Summer Salad.  See?  Online.  I liked that it was quick and easy (I'd say the full time was closer to the online version though) and versatile.  It would be a fantastic summer salad with fresh garden veggies!  We loved it with Italian dressing!

Bonus Cleaning
I got a little extra done this week, things that weren't on the list.  I guess I was feeling ambitious since the original task was only the recipes.

  1. I cleared off all the decorative items from that open space above the kitchen cabinets, except two glass pieces from husband's grandmother.  I never climbed back up there to dust, BUT  I just learned that this task is actually on next week's challenge, so I'm getting ahead!
  2. I took down decorative pictures from the kitchen walls that we didn't want any longer
  3. I emptied the baker's rack so I could donate it too
  4. I started working on the boys' room - perhaps a bit too ambitious!
  5. We donated 1 trash bag and 2 boxes, so that's stuff OUT of the house

My husband, who did the donation drop said "You know, it really did feel liberating to get rid of all of that stuff."  I told him not to worry, he'd feel really liberated by the end this year.

Up Next
Michele has challenged us to clean the stove, microwave and all the odd & end areas of the kitchen that weren't tackled over the last month.  Counter tops are included, which in my house means we have to tackle the dreaded "stack" under the school cabinet.  You can find the full challenge on Family, Faith and Fridays, where she posts new challenges and hosts a link-up every Friday.  Feel free to join us any time!

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  1. Oh yes, all those husbands are going to feel really liberated by Labor Day!

    1. Ha yes, we did another donation drop today, and while he didn't love loading the vehicle, he said it felt great unloading it and watching everything disappear! ;-)

  2. Wow your shelves look so nice and tidy! Great job! That recipe looks yummy. Thanks for pointing us in the right direction.

    1. Thanks! It definitely feels better to open up a clean and organized cabinet, compared to what I had before!

  3. Your shelves straightened up so nicely. I'm sure you are enjoying the easy access to the items you use from there.

  4. Wow those were some impressive before and after pictures! Great job!