How to green-up your kitchen

I don’t have a terrible amount of waste leaving my kitchen/house (to me, my kitchen is my house), but I still find that there are more opportunities to “green-up” my kitchen! If you’ve been looking for a few options to cut-down on the waste your house has been producing, here are a few of my favorite things:

  • 3-gallon size biodegradable bags (made from a corn, a renewable resource); 300 bags that fit in small trash cans, $49.01 with free shipping: BioBag 3-gallon bags
  • 13-gallon size kitchen biodegradable bags (made from corn, a renewable resource); 60 bags that fit into your kitchen-sized trash can, $13.60 (with subscribe and save) and free shipping with Amazon Prime: Perf Go Green 13-gallon bags
  • Indoor, odor-free, compact composter (watch fascinating video here), $299.00: Nature Mill Pro Indoor Composter
  • Reusable, nylon, washable grocery bags; these are my favorites, as they are so small and fit well inside my purse, so I never forget them! I love the large handles–they are very comfy and don’t cut into my skin. Each bag holds 3-4 times more than a traditional plastic bag (=less to carry!) If any liquids leech into them, simply toss in washing machine, $38 for 6 tote bags (free shipping): Baggu Eco-Friendly Bags
  • Reusable, washable produce (or bulk foods) bags; again, I love them! No more plastic bags (that you can never figure out which end to open, anyway!) that are the same weight, so they won’t tip the scales; $10.50 for set of three (lots of colors and sizes to choose from) with $2 shipping ($.50 for each additional purchase): kootsac eco-friendly produce/bulk foods bags

These are very small steps that can be taken to help keep more junk hitting our landfills! So, what are you waiting for? Go green-up your kitchen and house!

When mistakes bring joy

Joyful Cookies

Most of the time, when baking, the slightest mistake will bring total devastation. Especially when you’re trying out that new, complicated recipe for company! However, sometimes you can have what my hubby refers to as “happy accidents,” when something goes wrong, but it gives you the benefit. I like those. Last night, while making a batch of 24 cookies, I finished mixing my dough, to look in the bowl and realize that my ratio of butter-to-flour wasn’t really working…and it immediately dawned on me: oops! You added a full stick of butter, instead of a half!

Fortunately, when there is a higher fat ratio to flour, worrying about gluten isn’t quite as a big deal as it normally would have been. Still could be a problem, but fixable in this case. So, I simply mixed up another batch of dry ingredients, warmed my egg, and added the sugar. Since sugar is often considered a “liquid” ingredient in baking, I mixed my sugar and egg together, then added them to the sort-of-already-done cookie dough, and mixed it in. This also created a heavier liquid-to-flour ratio, so I wouldn’t have to worry about too much gluten. Then I added the additional flour, gently stirred, and Wa-lah! A batch of 24 very large cookies. Mmmm. Here’s to happy accidents!

Why didn’t somebody warn me??

Those were the thoughts running through my head when I bit into my long-time enslavement of making a tres leches (three milks) cake for hubby. The cake looked lovely, all glistening from it’s multiple layers of soaking in three milks and it’s 24-hour rest in the fridge. You think the smell would have been a warning… But, no, I took one bite, expecting ecstacy, only to discover: onions?? Yes, onions. I mmediately begain trying to find the culprit. Could my oven be dirty? Did I not use a clean pan? Was there an errant onion in my fridge, permeating its odor on innocent cakes? No. It was easier than that—it was my “egg beaters” that I had decided to use in the cake, to try and eliminate 1/100th of the calories in this scale-tipping cake. Ummm, but I had failed to remember that among the ingredient list of these egg beaters is onion powder. Yes, onion powder. I don’t know why it’s there, but it is.

I’ve used these egg beaters (technically, the Kirkland brand) with excellent results in other things that require only one egg, such as pancakes, quick breads, etc. I suppose in that small of an amount, the onion powder doesn’t surface. However, in a sponge cake that uses the eggs as it’s cornerstone…it was definitely a problem. So, into the trash it went. Yes, one big ‘ol carbon footprint from me. You really have to trust me…it was way beyond saving. [Of course, I made a new cake (real eggs) and wow—-it was amazing.]

So, since somebody failed to warn me, I’m warning you. Don’t use egg beaters in cake. Unless you really like onions. A lot.

Ugh–I’ve eaten too much chocolate!

I don’t think I could ever have uttered all those words in my entire life. In the past few weeks I have sampled more chocolate than I care to admit to. I have tasted, melted, dipped, tasted more, waited a few days, tasted again…and then again, to just be sure!

Of course, it was all in good reason, for those of the soon-to-be goodies (yummmmmmmmmy!) Of course, I am very proud to say that I have chosen the utmost perfect chocolate to ever be paired with my oh-so-perfect macaroons. I feel that I can claim perfection since, just like the chocolate, I tested so many different batches of the coconut macaroons…way more than the chocolate. After all, when I am putting my stamp of approval on it, I have to make sure it is the absolute best. Obsessively-so, of course (since I know no other way).

You know the crazy part? Even after eating so many, I’m dazzled by them…I guess that means I’m obsessively happy with the final result. Good thing, too! Because I’ll be ready to ship in only two weeks. Hooray!!

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Lots of changes in the future…

Hooray! The blog seems to have migrated well, and the new essence of KitchenNut is beginning to unfold! It has been a long time coming, but only recently finally began to cement. But, I’ll outline the basics here, then point you in other directions for more detail.

Hubby and I would love to have children of our own, but no such luck. Of course, we are thrilled at the aspect of adoption! Though expensive, we are very excited to pursue this option. In order to raise funds to make this a viable option, I had to turn to the only thing which I consider marketable: my OCD in the kitchen. Truly, I am obsessed with making the most perfect of everything, and refuse for anything less. Thanks to special design talents of my hubby, the beauty of the site has unfolded!

The final store will be launching at the end of August, when the final of the loose-ends are tied. We are so very excited, though! Please see the new KitchenNut Homepage to see about things to come; you can also read About KitchenNut to get an understanding of what will be offered. Lastly, and most importantly, our Adoption Page, which tells all about us and what we are hoping for. 

Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or encouragement in the comments! Again, we are so very excited!

Baked From Scratch