painters tape ID-10091061

Everyone I’m related to knows of my deep, abiding love of all office supplies. Sharpies and labels and Post-its – Oh My!

But now I have discovered a whole new obsession in life – Home Depot is the New Office Depot – on steroids.

Since I have been clocking a lot of time in the kitchen for my new book The “What’s for Dinner?” Project I have found a new, invaluable tool for all things culinary – Blue Painter Tape.

While I believe in the classic uses (check out 3M’s great website for some great decorating ideas,) here are six reasons I am now an evangelist of blue tape in the art of cooking:

1. Identification We are big believers in the green bags and storage containers that keep fruit and veggies fresh longer. The only problem? You can’t see what’s in them.

So as I wash and store my fruits and veg, I label the containers with the contents so I know what’s what. I notice that I am more prone to actually cook at home if I actually know what I have lurking in the fridge.

2. Freezer Meal Labels This is also a great technique for labeling your freezer meals. For each batch, I use a different color of tape, so I can tell right away which meals to use up.

3. Use it up or die (of food poisoning) trying My whole family is obsessed with pita pizzas (see my very loose recipe on how to make them here.) They are cheap and yummy and low in fat – a win – win – win.

The only problem? We never knew the vintage of the half-opened marinara sauce containers in our fridge. Now I label anything I open with the date that it was opened (and when you ask why I don’t just write on it with a beloved Sharpie it’s because sometimes it get’s all slippy slidey).

This is not only saving us room in the fridge, I know it’s saving us money. We are not opening up new jars of sauce just because we are unable to identify the age of the three jars that are already opened.

4. Combo Packs OK – don’t laugh. I know this problem doesn’t come up very often – combining slow moving liquids.

But, when you are can’t stand the ANTICIPATION (he he) this is a great way of not having to spend your afternoon waiting for ketchup to drip.

Plus – AGAIN – saving room in the fridge is a beautiful thing. (Obviously, this is a huge issue in my life.)

5. Seal a Meal (or a packet of crispy noodles…) Sealing up opened packages. Not very fancy, but the good thing is you can open it and close it several times and it keeps resealing for a long time.

I’m sorry if it looks tacky (no pun intended) but if it keeps my Chinese noodles nice and crisp – I don’t mind it at all…

6. Posting Recipes (but not on the internet) Finally. If you are like me, one of the main ways I find new recipes is by trolling the internet. I use to stick the recipes up on my fridge with a magnet but the only problem was that the fridge in not located near where I cook. So finally I got smart and taped up the recipes on my cabinet.

I never wanted to do it with masking tape (it can leave goo behind), or packing tape (it can peel paint) but the blue tape is a lot like a Post-it – tape-style.

So – here are my questions for you:

1. Do you have any uses for the magical blue tape that I have yet to discover?

2. Do you have any weird or odd uses for other things in the kitchen when you are cooking? I would love to consider using them in the book…

Photo credit: