Welcome to OUR KrAzY kitchen.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee, grab a snack, sit & visit awhile...
We have recipes, menu planning, kitchen organization, short cuts, budget ideas & helpful hints to offer...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FAMILY DINNERS, HOLIDAYS & ORGANIZING FOR A CROWD

I had a houseful for the Christmas holidays so I will use that as my example.

Besides menu planning and doing everything you can to organize, my best advice is to use cutting boards to aid in stacking items in the refrigerator and use cookie sheets as lids in the oven so you can stack multiple dishes on each shelf and have room for the Turkey or Ham and all your side dishes so they'll all be ready at the same time.

For a crowd that will be around for an extended amount of time, I also try to prepare dishes in advance and freeze them when possible so that I don't spend all my 'visiting time' in the kitchen. I spent the better part of a day cooking, but it was well worth it as it saved me tons of time while my company ass here.

So to recap:
1) Menu Plan
2) Organize
3) Pre-make as much as possible
4) Stay organized or at least reorganize as necessary

for example:
12/17 ~ Spaghetti Bolegnese & Garlic Bread (sauce was made today and frozen)*
12/18 ~ Winter Soup & Beer Bread (soup was made today and frozen)
12/19 ~ Crock Pot Lasagne & Garlic Bread (sauce was made today and frozen)*
12/20 ~ Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup & Buttermilk Biscuits & honey (soup made today and frozen)
12/21 ~ Garlic Shrimp Pasta
12/22 ~ Chicken Cacciatore (sauce made today and frozen)*
12/23 ~ Meatloaf Muffins & Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
12/24 ~ Pot Roast & Veggies & Mashed Potatoes & Corn Flake Wreaths & Peanut Butter Bourbon Balls
12/25 ~ Rum Raisin Glazed Ham, Holiday Carrot Casserole, Garlic Smashers, Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie
12/26 ~ Chicken Enchiladas and Chile Cornbread (enchiladas made today and frozen)
12/27 ~ CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)
12/28 ~ Lemon Lime Pepper Chicken & Cranberry Rice Pilaf (Rice made today and frozen)
12/29 ~ Taco Ring Salad
12/30 ~ Out for mom's 69th birthday
12/31 ~ Chicken Fried Chicken with Peppered Gravy & Mashed Potatoes
1/1 ~ Creamy Tomato Soup & Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
1/2 ~ Stuffed Shells & Garlic Bread (Shells made today and frozen)
1/3 ~ CORN
1/4 ~ Meatloaf with a kick & Maple glazed carrots
1/5 ~ out on the way to the airport

All the meals that aren't already prepared have been proportioned out and seasoned before freezing so they're immediately ready after thawing.

Now I've given you a rather large example, so think how easy it will be to do just a Sunday family dinner after church? All the same principles apply just in a smaller proportion.

*I used the same sauce on all of these so I made a HUGE batch which saved me soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much time!!

This post originally ran as a guest post series for Barbara over at Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers who is hosting the Homemaking September Shape-up. It was an all around comprehensive house to home style of posts to help us get our homes and lives whipped into shape.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

OVERALL KITCHEN ORGANIZATION

What do you get when you cross 2 Virgos with organization, OCD and a love of cooking? A new blog of course! Martha and I are both pleased at how well tHe KrAzY KiTcHeN has taken off. This is still a new blog and we are 'under construction' and growing wildly. Thank you everyone for your support, encouragement, participation and as always we welcome all suggestions!

So now to continue with my kitchen organization posts. The last couple of days we have already touched on parts of this with the pantry and what needs to go in it. Kitchens are the heart of our homes,
but no one wants to spend ALL their time in them, so the object is to make our jobs fun and easy. This is actually one of the easiest tasks to accomplish. Do you like having your counters completely clear or do you prefer everything to be within hands reach. Your choice! This is a purely subjective organization. WHAT DO YOU WANT?? Have fun and be creative. There is no right or wrong, it's all up to you.

Arranging your appliances, tools, spices and cookware in the most efficient manner helps you enjoy your kitchen time more. For example, I store my Pyrex and Tupperware in the cabinet next to my dishwasher and sink so that when I clear the table, my storage containers are where the plates and bowls are making it easier to clean up. I keep that section of counter virtually clear of everything since that is where I make the biggest mess. I also keep my coffee maker near the sink since that's where the water is. Spices near the stove make seasoning easier. My pots and pans are next to the stove as are baking pans, cookie sheets and all baking paraphernalia (sifters, measuring cups, choppers, etc...) with mixing bowls next to all of that.

If at all possible you want your stove, refrigerator and sink in a triangle with a work island or butcher block in the center. The fewer steps you take, the less mess you make is the theory. Have fun organizing. I can't wait to see your kitchens. Here's mine if you're curious.

This post originally ran as a guest post series for Barbara over at Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers who is hosting the Homemaking September Shape-up. It was an all around comprehensive house to home style of posts to help us get our homes and lives whipped into shape.

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