- Open bottles of jams and preserves that have not been touched for months
- Ingredients bought for a specific recipe that you have not used again
- Foods given to you as gifts but that you never get around to using
- Food at the back of the freezer that you can't even get to
- Bottles lined up in the fridge door filled with mysterious sauces
- Leftovers in the fridge waiting to be used up before you forget about them and chuck them out next weekend
- Ingredients that you buy because they are nutritious and you feel like you should be eating them, but you can't think of ways to use them, so they sit there, taking up space and mocking you
- Foods that are dangerously close to or just past the expiration date
- Overripe bananas that you are collecting in the freezer
- Spices that you bought in bulk because the price was right but are now rapidly losing their flavor
- A bulk package of something that will last you until 2035
- Ingredients that you are saving for a "special occasion" that never comes
- Impulse purchases from grocery shopping trips that are sitting around 6 months later and making you feel guilty
If you raised your hand at any point while reading the list above, listen up, because I have a challenge for you. This month's Blog Bites event is all about using recipes from food blogs as the inspiration to use up the foods and ingredients that are lurking in our kitchens.
Find the lurkers in your kitchen and clean them out by using them up to make something new and tasty. Don't let those ingredients take up valuable space; real estate is very precious in most kitchens. Don't let your leftovers end up in the trash; food is a precious commodity. Above all, don't have a cluttered kitchen when you can have one that is well-organized and a pleasure to work in.
All this month, I will be using up ingredients from my pantry, fridge and freezer. I plan to use it or lose it: use whatever I can to make something tasty and if I come upon things that are already beyond use, then to toss them away instead of hanging on to them with a guilty feeling. If I find ingredients that I don't want to use, I will try and give them to someone who can use them.
If you want to join me, we will end up making good use of the ingredients that are already in our kitchens, minimizing waste and discovering new recipes in the process, and hopefully end up with a kitchen that is less cluttered and easier to work in.
If you are looking for inspiration to go after the lurkers in your kitchen and clean them out, here are 5 links:
- Periodic table of the shelf life of condiments (just for fun)
- How to stock a minimalist pantry
- Pantry cleaning tips from The Kitchn
- 10 tips for reducing food waste
- Wasted Food blog
So, if you want to join me this month in cleaning out the kitchen, here are...
- (a) From now until June 25, look through your kitchen for ingredients that need to be used up, and (b) look through your favorite blogs for ways to use them. That's the theme of the month- to use up the ingredients lurking in your kitchen and cluttering it up.
- The recipe has to come from another blog. This is the whole premise of the Blog Bites event, so please turn to other blogs for inspiration.
- Write a post telling us about the recipe you tried, with the following: (a) A link to the recipe on the inspiring blog, (b) A link to this post announcing the event (c) Picture of your dish.
- Please do not copy a recipe word for word from another blog- that would be both illegal and unethical. Either re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply tell us about it with a link to the recipe. One of the reasons I am hosting this event is to promote the idea of cooking from blogs while giving them due credit.
- Please make sure your entry meets all the rules above. Then, send me the link (URL) of your entry, either by leaving a comment on this post, or using the contact form.
- You can send in as many entries as you like.
I will acknowledge the entries you send in by leaving a comment on your post and thanking you for the entry. Check back on July 26 to see the round-up.
We'll ask readers to vote for their favorite entry and I will send that participant a little gift. Very few people have been voting in the last 2 editions, so I guess readers/participants don't like this contest bit and I won't include it in this event any more.
Thank you for your participation!