Some changes have been going on in my kitchen!
We've gone organic! We have a wonderful Farmer's Market and a new Whole Foods Market here in Boise that have made it super easy for me to start replacing the food in my cupboards with organic alternatives. Organic seasonal fresh food tastes so much better to my family that we've started eating a lot (and I mean a lot) more vegetables and fruits in place of processed food. It's not cheap. So far, I figure it's at least $100 a month more for us to eat organic, but we all feel so fantastic since the switch, we think it's worth every penny.
It means a lot more chopping and dicing and time in the kitchen for me, too. I feel super fortunate that we have both the time and money to live in the city and eat organic. We have a huge organic green salad almost every night with dinner, full of every color of vegetables and often sprinkled with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. I wanted a good place to store all these healthy and delicious salad toppings where I would remember to use them, and where better than on my counter top?
What do you think? I love the industrial look of galvanized metal of all kinds and shapes, and had come across what looked like a galvanized bowl at a yard sale one day for 25 cents. Later, my husband told me it was the end cap from a heating duct!
Well, you know I was down at Home Depot scoping out the furnace section in no time, and sure enough there was a whole section of galvanized duct work and end caps. I bought two more end caps in graduated sizes and glued painted dowels between them to make this tiered stand, then I put the seeds, nuts, and dried fruit in jars.
Here's another change we've made in my kitchen. We used to keep paper napkins in this basket, and one day when we ran out, my daughter suggested we start using more environmentally friendly cloth napkins. In the old days when laundry was a lot harder to do, people used one cloth napkin for an entire week before sending it to the laundry. Napkin rings, embossed with family members' initials or names were used to identify who belonged to which napkin.
I actually prefer cloth napkins over paper, but I was a bit skeptical about the practicality of this. We gave it a try, though, and maybe because we're all adults here who don't have big spaghetti sauce rings around our mouths when we eat spaghetti (as a toddler would), it has worked out really well for us.
I bought a box of wood napkin rings at the thrift store for a dollar and painted our initials on them. I found cheerful inexpensive cloth napkins at Target in eight different colors, and they only get tossed in the laundry when they're dirty. The rest of the time they get tossed back into this basket on the counter for the next meal.
I hope that doesn't gross anyone out. I promise if you come to my house for dinner, I'll give you your very own freshly laundered napkin!
Aren't these tomatoes just ridiculously gorgeously red?! I almost toned down the color in my photos because I didn't think you'd believe how red they are! They're glowing, they're so red!
Another kitchen happening around here has to do with the recipe on my pig blackboard. We used to eat a lot of those prepackaged salad kits because, hello, they're so darn easy! Then I heard Dr. Oz saying Americans were putting on a lot of pounds from salad dressing, not realizing how much hidden sugar is in them. I started checking the ingredients on the little salad dressing packets that came in the kits, and I was SHOCKED. Not only were there a lot of corn sweeteners, there was a bunch of stuff there that I couldn't pronounce, and for me, that's always a bad sign when it comes to nutritional value. So, now we make our own salad dressing, and, hello, it's so darn easy!
Thanks for checking out my Kitchen Happenings. I'd love to hear what you think of my changes. Have you tried eating organic? Do you notice a difference in taste or how you feel? How about those cloth napkins? Do you think I'm a nut case for doing that?
Well, I already know I'm kind of nutty anyway.
Have a great week, everybody!
Are you thinking of going organic, too? It's easier than you think! Check out my new friend Shelley's blog series called Friday Food Focus over at Calypso in the Country. Her series highlights new healthy foods and brands she finds each week.
When you're finished checking out Shelley's great blog, come and party with me at