Kitchen Prep for the Overwhelmed Cook

Kitchen Prep for the Overwhelmed Cook

by guest Kelsee Keitel

“I am really not looking forward to cooking dinner tonight. In fact, I’m kind of dreading it.” I had become an overwhelmed cook.

I never imagined those words would come out of my mouth … at least, not yet.

At 23, I expected cooking dinner for my new husband would be a breeze. After all, we’re young and energetic, and cooking is one of my favorite hobbies.

But night after night, I found myself overwhelmed at the thought of starting dinner.

Why?

Before I could even begin to make dinner, I had to conquer a messy (and often hectic) kitchen. That extra work felt so overwhelming.

Did I mention I can get a little hangry? When I want to eat, I want to eat … not clean the kitchen.

The more overwhelmed I became, the longer I procrastinated making dinner, and the more likely one or more of the following outcomes would happen:

  • My husband and I would BOTH get hangry. Not fun.
  • I’d eventually cook while feeling stressed and pressured. Also, not fun.
  • I’d feel a little like a failure. Not fun either.
  • We would opt for fast food instead. Not healthy.

One night, after snapping at the hubby while hangry and agitated, I decided to clean the kitchen before bed. It turned out to be a solid move because I wasn’t nearly as stressed when it came time to cook dinner the next night!

After that successful evening, I made it a goal to tidy up the kitchen every night before bed.

Now I’ll confess I can be a little of a perfectionist. I was tempted to do a floor-to-ceiling scrub at first. But then I decided to simply make the kitchen manageable for tomorrow night.

For me that meant wiping down the counters and reloading the dishwasher.

It might be something different for you. Think of this mini cleaning session as a part of your prep-work for the next night’s meal.

One Small Win: Commit to tidying up the kitchen each night, and you’ll relieve those “It’s too much! Where do I begin?” feelings before they ever hit.


Overwhelmed cookKelsee is a graduate student and blogger, living in Indianapolis, IN with her newly wed husband. She is passionate about cultivating sisterhood through vulnerability and introducing young women to the freedom and abundance of life in following Christ. When Kelsee is not snuggled up with a book and sipping tea, she can be found experimenting in the kitchen or chatting with her mom.

You can read more about how Kelsee experiences divine moments in the midst of ordinary life over at kelseekeitel.com or on Instagram and Facebook.

Episode #216-The Basics of Canning with Melissa K. Norris

Episode #216-The Basics of Canning with Melissa K. Norris

Episode216Canning

Buy The Made from Scratch Life

Do you long for simpler days? Do you wish you had the time to offer your family home-grown meals? Does your heart cry for a quiet place in this fast-paced world?

Blogger and homesteader Melissa K. Norris inspires with practical and easy methods to help you cook from scratch, garden, preserve your own food, and see God’s fingerprints in your everyday busy life. You’ll learn how to

plan, plant, and harvest for eating and preserving
troubleshoot common gardening problems with natural solutions
improve your family’s health with natural cooking and cleaning methods
Whether you live in the middle of the asphalt jungle or on the side of a mountain, you can experience the pioneer lifestyle and start your own homesteading journey. Because when you surround yourself with things made from the hand of God, you can’t help but see Him.

Melissa’s Canning Applesauce Recipe

Start your canning with this delicious recipe from Melissa K. Norris! Click on photo for free download.

Does the idea of canning your own food scare you? What do you need? What CAN you can? Will I give someone botulism and kill them???? Today I talk with Melissa K. Norris, author of The Made from Scratch Life, about how to get started with canning. We talk about which foods get canned using different methods, what the basic equipment needs are and did you know there is a difference between Pressure Cookers and Pressure Canners??? Melissa teaches us about all of these things and more! Let’s all give canning a try and post pictures in the comments! Mentioned in this podcast: Online Canning Course: Live Home Canning Class Presto Canning Kit Melissa’s podcast: Pioneering Today Podcast Win a copy of Melissa’s book The Made from Scratch Life by leaving a comment telling me one step you are going to make towards homesteading!

 

FREE DOWNLOAD

Start your canning with this delicious recipe from Melissa K. Norris! Click on photo for free download.

Meet Our Guest

Melissa K. Norris

Melissa K. Norris

Hey, there, I’m Melissa K. Norris. I’m just a plain country girl who loves Jesus, playing in the dirt, stuffing food into Mason jars (after I wash my hands of course), and hunting down as many traditional old-fashioned skills as I can to put into use on our homestead.

Occasionally I chase down a chicken and I’ve been known to wrangle a cow or two back into the pasture when they get the hankering to leave our field.

Visit www.MelissaKNorris.com for heirloom gardening, preserving the harvest (all forms of canning, dehydrating, and any other way to preserve food at home), raising critters aka livestock, from scratch cooking, frugal living, and any other kind of old-fashioned skill I come across and am determined to master.

P.S. I love to chat, so you can visit with me and listen to my podcast at www.MelissaKNorris.com/podcast

Episode #216-The Basics of Canning with Melissa K. Norris

Episode #211-The Made from Scratch Kitchen with Melissa K. Norris

Episode-211-Site-Artwork

Buy The Made from Scratch Life Do you long for simpler days? Do you wish you had the time to offer your family home-grown meals? Does your heart cry for a quiet place in this fast-paced world? Blogger and homesteader Melissa K. Norris inspires with practical and easy methods to help you cook from scratch, garden, preserve your own food, and see God’s fingerprints in your everyday busy life. You’ll learn how to plan, plant, and harvest for eating and preserving troubleshoot common gardening problems with natural solutions improve your family’s health with natural cooking and cleaning methods Whether you live in the middle of the asphalt jungle or on the side of a mountain, you can experience the pioneer lifestyle and start your own homesteading journey. Because when you surround yourself with things made from the hand of God, you can’t help but see Him. Home Made Citrus Cleaner Recipe The full recipe and instructions here! Ever dreamed of being like Laura Ingalls Wilder, living off the land? Or at least being able to grow your own tomatoes without the squirrels getting them before you do? Today I talk with Melissa K. Norris, author of The Made from Scratch Kitchen, about living the pioneer life in modern times. Even if you are a city girl, she shares tips for gardening, cooking, and cleaning with wholesome ingredients that you can make today. Mentioned in this podcast: Melissa’s podcast: Pioneering Today Podcast The $64 Tomato (book) Win a copy of Melissa’s book The Made from Scratch Life by leaving a comment telling me one step you are going to make towards homesteading!

 

FREE DOWNLOAD

The full recipe and instructions here!

 

Meet Our Guest

Melissa K. Norris

Melissa K. Norris

Hey, there, I’m Melissa K. Norris. I’m just a plain country girl who loves Jesus, playing in the dirt, stuffing food into Mason jars (after I wash my hands of course), and hunting down as many traditional old-fashioned skills as I can to put into use on our homestead.

Occasionally I chase down a chicken and I’ve been known to wrangle a cow or two back into the pasture when they get the hankering to leave our field.

Visit www.MelissaKNorris.com for heirloom gardening, preserving the harvest (all forms of canning, dehydrating, and any other way to preserve food at home), raising critters aka livestock, from scratch cooking, frugal living, and any other kind of old-fashioned skill I come across and am determined to master.

P.S. I love to chat, so you can visit with me and listen to my podcast at www.MelissaKNorris.com/podcast

Recipes to Crave: Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipes to Crave: Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches

Star-spangled ice cream sandwiches

Just in time for 4th of July celebrations, I wanted to share one of my favorite summer time treats with you. Enjoy!!!

 

Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 28 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 56 Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever (Recipe to follow)
  • 1 gallon Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Patriotic Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Once cookies have fully cooled, place one to two scoops of ice cream on half of the bottom side of the cookies. Press the bottom side of each of the remaining cookies onto the ice cream scoops to form sandwiches. Use your finger or a knife to spread the ice cream evenly around the sides of each sandwich. Wrap the sandwiches individually in plastic wrap or place in a large dish and cover. Freeze at least 30 minutes before decorating. Place patriotic sprinkles in a shallow dish. Remove sandwiches from freezer and roll each sandwich in the sprinkles until covered as desired. Enjoy!

*The original blog post for The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever was for a cookie dough exchange and makes a large number of cookies. The Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches Recipe is based upon the halved recipe of The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever. If making the full recipe of cookies, you will yield 56 ice cream sandwiches and need two gallons of vanilla ice cream to make them.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

 

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

The following recipe is by far the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe we have ever made at home. There is something about that blended up oatmeal that makes these cookies about the moistest (is that even a word?) and chewiest CCC I have ever had the delight of eating. Oh, and the dough freezes perfectly! On to the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 112 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 cups blended oatmeal measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder
  • 24 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz hershey bar grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups chopped nuts your choice
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

    If freezing cookie dough, decide if you want to freeze into pre-scooped balls or ready to slice logs. Flash freeze scooped balls on a cookie sheet before packaging it. It will make it easier to handle and keep its shape better if you are freezing a lot of packages on top of it. For logs, wrap in plastic wrap and form into a log about 2 inches around.

    I package my dough in large Ziploc bags. Put the dough in the bag and write the baking instructions on the bag. I like to experiment with the cookies and find out what the baking time and temp is for frozen dough as well as thawed dough.

Recipes to Crave: Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Recipes to Crave: Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Goat-Cheese-Bruschetta

This bruschetta recipe is proof that not all yummy things are hard to make. Goat cheese bruschetta is a fantastic appetizer for a lunch with friends, or for a refreshing dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette sliced
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, basil
  • Goat Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler to high. Combine balsamic vinegar and herbs. Place bread slices on a broiler pan. Char bread on each side under hot broiler. You can also grill bread if you prefer. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over slices of toasted baguette and spread with goat cheese. Finish with another drizzle of vinaigrette. Garnish with thyme.

Boom! Done.

Episode #216-The Basics of Canning with Melissa K. Norris

Episode #199-Six Chicks Freeze and Fix-Making and Freezing Meals for a Decluttered Dinner

Eps-199-Freeze-&-Fix-Podcast

Wouldn’t it be great to come home from a busy day and know that dinner is already planned and prepped? 

With a little work ahead of time, meals can be A LOT easier and less stressful.

In this episode,  Erin and I talk about delicious meals and easy ways to have a freezer full of meals ready to go, including LOOP (Left Overs On Purpose) and the Six Chicks Freeze and Fix co-op strategy.

Mentioned in the episode: King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese

Soy Vey TeriyakiScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.31.45 PM

Meet Our Guest

Erin MacPherson

Erin MacPherson

Erin MacPherson lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Cameron, her sons Joey and Will and her daughter Kate. She is the author of “The Christian Mama’s Guide Series“, a staff writer for Dun & Bradstreet and a freelancer for publications like Thriving Family Magazine, MOPS MomSense, FamilyLife Magazine, Daily Guideposts and BEMag. She blogs about her life, her kids and her faith at ChristianMamasGuide.com.