dessert

Organizing your kitchen for the holidays

Organizing your kitchen has many benefits, particularly health and safety. Many of us cook and bake specific items only during the holiday seasons and wonder, “Is this item still okay to use? I was honestly surprised to find out how long some items will stay fresh if stored under the proper conditions. It’s worth doing a bit of research to learn more about current best practices. Having an organized kitchen will hopefully reduce waste as well as save you time and money at the market.

Organizing your kitchen | Use v sell by dates

Organizing your kitchen starts with cleaning out your pantry and refrigerator. Check the dates on your items. Make sure that opened items are still safe to use and sealed well. Here are a couple of helpful articles: “Use by” versus “sell by” dates

USDA Food Products – safety & dating

Organizing your kitchen | Spices and more

spices
Organizing your kitchen spices (freedigitalphotos.net jk1991)

Well intentioned friends buy spice sets as holiday gifts, but what if they’ve been sitting there for a year? Here is some surprising information about spices: How long should I keep spices? Wide Open Eats

When it comes to organizing the baked goods in my kitchen the following articles are helpful for infrequently used items. For instance, I only bake my Mississippi Pecan Pie once a year so I replenish right before the holidays. Did you know this information about baking ingredients: How long can I keep basic baking ingredients?

How to test baking soda and baking powder

If you don’t use certain ingredients often I also recommend buying smaller quantities that can be used more quickly. The large containers at the big box stores have great prices but they take up storage space and if you don’t use the food it’s wasted.

When organizing your pantry keep the items that expire sooner near the front part of your shelf. After shopping and replenishing items put the newer ones towards the back of the shelf. This healthy rotation will have you using only the older ones first and keep you up to date on your inventory.

How long do cooking oils keep? 

How long do vinegars last?

Does butter (or other foods) need to be refrigerated?

balsamic vinegar

Organizing your kitchen vinegars (freedigitalphotos.net SergeBertasius Photography)

Organizing your kitchen | Make ahead recipes

Organizing your kitchen means that it’s well stocked with fresh food and you are ready to entertain at a moment’s notice. If you have last minute invitations or guests drop by it’s great to have some make ahead and easy to freeze dishes. You likely have your favorite holiday recipes, but what if you want to try something different this year? If you are short on time here are some make ahead holiday recipes that you might try: 28 Amazing Thanksgiving Recipes  Make ahead holiday appetizers

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Make ahead recipe (freedigitalphotos.net Membio)

Make ahead holiday desserts

Make ahead desserts

May your kitchen be organized, your holidays safe and healthy, and your bellies full. Have a clutter-free day!

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