Monday, February 13, 2012

New recipes in the works.... taking stock and a challenge

 I've been working up a storm in the kitchen recently.  Cleaning, organizing, taking inventory of our "stock", and just doing a little overhauling.  This will give you an general idea of what I've been dealing with.
These are my spice drawers.  The right hand one does contain a single packaged spice mix and our boxed jello (however I also have "bulk" jello in mason jars in the cabinets above as well.)  But the rest is herbs and spices!  There are two thin green boxes stacked on top of each other which contain small quantities of of "potent" spices, things where you only need a pinch or two.
This will give you a better idea of the contents of the left drawer.  The tin box is what I pull out and use on an almost daily basis.

And here is the overflow on the top shelf of the cabinet above my spice drawers and I have one of those plastic lazy susan's in my cabinet next to the stove filled with extracts, small jars of powdered mushrooms and veggies, finishing salts, and "ethnic" salts/flavorings.

I also have various sized jars filled with dried mushrooms, candied citrus peels, various dried peppers, dried veggies,  grains, a minimum of 4 types of vinegars, cooking "spirits",  and numerous oils (some out and some in the fridge.)

What "normal" person has all these ingredients?  (and has NO oregano!  how did that happen??)  Did I mention that I use this stuff?  Not ALL on a daily basis but often enough.  And that I also grow my own herbs?  We only had a couple of "staples" in our garden last year but since it is a work in progress more will be added this year.

Because of all the craziness in the kitchen everything else if being neglected, not that my it matters to the rest of my family.  They are loving the cooking frenzy going on! :)  So today a new recipe in is the works... if it comes out as planned it will be the backbone for many a dish to include but not limited to: green chile, BBQ pork, pork "taquitos", and pork fried rice.

I thought you might get a kick out of this shot!  Yes I have to stand a "stool" in order to take photos from above.  You can say I am a bit "elevationally" challenged!  ha ha!  Don't you love my winter Crocs?  I know I do!  I think I will be heartbroken when the liners wear out in them as I wear them ALL winter long!

Have a great day!  Keep checking back and I'll keep you updated on the cooking "challenge" around here.  Oh did I not mention that?  Sorry!! I have challenged myself to use what we have on hand and use "real" ingredients.  NO purchases except for the following: milk, eggs, cheese, fresh and frozen produce (we are running low on veggies.. AGAIN!)  No meat, no baked goods, no cereal, no pasta, nothing!  Peanut butter is also part of the exception as we go through it.  How long will this "challenge" last?  I have no idea.... until we (I) am in the habit of using what we have and not buying needlessly.  The purpose?  To get back in the habit of using whole foods and to eliminate most processed foods from our diet.  To improve our overall eating habits. Yes I say most as there are some things that my husband has requested I do not make from scratch, peanut butter, Nutella,  and certain crackers.  So I will honor his wishes and will continue to purchase these items.  I will say aside from the peanut butter, the Nutella and crackers are items we do NOT eat on a regular basis.  So if you would like to join me, drop me a line.  If I can figure out how to do it I may even turn this into a Linky party with week or biweekly updates.

Have a wonderful week!


  1. Tandy Sue9:11 AM

    Peggy, have I mentioned that I just love your blog? Keep it going, sister! Oh, and winter crocs? You must not be from around here. :) I WISH!
    I'd love to hear your recipe for the pork when you have it all figured out. It looks and sounds simply wonderful!
    Miss you!

    1. Tan,
      You are too sweet! I sure do miss you girl! I really need you near by as a taste tester and a day of gabbing/laughing! Maybe one day, my friend, maybe one day! :)

      I got my winter croc's in Alaska! At the feed store no less! ha ha! I've had them about 4, maybe 5 years now. I wore them in the house all the time. Around here I wear them out and about town as its been too warm to wear my uggs plus no snow.

      I have the recipe but no photos! Ha ha! It turned out good but needs just a bit more tweaking... like slitting the meat and inserting the garlic into the pork instead of placing it on top and maybe making a rub of the spices. The guys ate it with the bbq sauce for dinner last night.

      Do you have a good Coleslaw recipe? One similar to KFC?

  2. Hey girlie! Thanks for the anniversary wishes..and yes, I was really 17 when we got married. I look at my 20 year old son and realize he's older than my hubby was when we got married...oh my! I can't imagine HIM married! lol
    Girlfriend you have more spices than anyone I've ever seen! I LOVE spices, but only have about 10 bottles....I honestly only use about that many, so if I make something that uses a weird one, I have to go buy it. :)
    Better scoot...gotta do some school with Carson

    1. Okay Missy for you I went back and counted.... I have 56 different herbs and spice, including both whole & powdered versions. This did NOT include whole dried peppers, dried/powdered veggies, fresh ginger or garlic, or any of the extracts/flavorings. And I truly do use them all. Ok, I have to admit I have not used the juniper berries recently or allspice berries. But I miss up my own pickling spices for keep those on hand for when I make pickles.

  3. I too like to cook with what in my pantry! It's always a fun challenge. I've been thinking that I need to do it soon and this has given me the inspiration to do just that! Thanks :)

  4. All I can say is.... wow! I will be a happy bystander.

  5. Wow what an awesome selection of spices!!