Sourcing Food Locally, Even in the Smallest Communities

Sourcing food locally is the new “it” movement for everyone from gourmet chefs to stay at home moms. Everywhere you turn there are slogans and catch phrases for joining this new revolution to better food, such as “100 mile diet”, “Buy Close By”, and “food revolution”, not to mention the farmer’s markets or farm stands everywhere you turn.

But what are the advantages of buying local?

Firstly there is the obvious, such as knowing your grower and how he/she grows their produce/meat/eggs, but there is also the less obvious reason of helping to curb the pollution caused by long haul refrigerated trucking of food stuffs from hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

There is also the advantage of helping to keep jobs in local communities safe as the more a farmer can sell of his/her crop or livestock, the more he/she may need to hire local jobseekers to help out. [Read more…]

3 Simple Ways to Store Online Recipes

I love poring through cookbooks, especially when they have color photos and richly descriptive text.

But when it comes down to it, about 75 percent of the recipes I use on a regular basis come from the Internet. Betty Crockers of the post-modern world have a plethora of recipes at their disposal, but it’s easily overwhelming.

The Internet is a huge place, so how do you organize all the recipes you want to keep? There are almost as many systems to organizing URLs as there are URLs themselves, so there’s no one right way. But I like using systems I’m using anyway, instead of subscribing to a unique program solely for recipes or menu planning.

Whatever you use, the point is to keep it simple, easy to use, and helpful when you need that exact recipe in that precise moment. It’s such a pain to know you have a recipe somewhere, but aren’t sure where you saved it.

In my opinion, here are some of the most helpful ways to store recipes from the Internet.
[Read more…]

26 Kitchen Organizing Tips from Real Cooks – Twitter Style

There are magazines, books and TV shows devoted entirely to the subject of organizing, but sometimes the best tip is passed along by a real person. It could be via a penciled-in note in the margin of a thrift store cookbook purchase, a helpful suggestion from grandmother, or a good friend who called you up and said “Guess what I’ve discovered!”

Twitter is a fantastic platform for exchanging information with real people. If I’m excited about a new kitchen cleaning trick or cooking shortcut, I always share my knowledge with my followers–and they do the same with me. It’s as if we’re swapping homemaking secrets at an old fashioned quilting bee, only quite a bit more modern!

I love gleaning information via Twitter because:

  • It’s up-to-the-minute. Be it the latest and greatest tip on how to make my kitchen greener or a hot new tool, Twitter tips are never stale.
  • It’s everyday people like me. Not a brand, agency or sales rep selling me an product. These kind folks are passing along pointers that have improved their life.
  • It’s quick. Who has time for a 30 minute TV-show on organizing the pantry? A few tweets can pass along exactly the information I need.
  • It’s concise. A 140-character limit does not allow for an introduction, body and conclusion to a recommendation.

SO! In the spirit of quick and straightforward communication, I asked my followers to send me their BEST kitchen organizing tip. Together we’ve compiled a varied and comprehensive list for you to peruse and make notes. These are real people, working in real kitchens, not studios, and they are sharing what simplifies things in the kitchen for them.

26 Kitchen Organizing Tips from Real Cooks – in 140 characters or less [Read more…]

Using Containers to Organize Your Kitchen Simply & Aesthetically

We’re jumping right into our theme for this month: organization and productivity in the kitchen. We’ll visit it here and there throughout April and even welcome a Very Special guest blogger, but that’s all I’m going to say about that surprise for now!

I hope you’ll be inspired.

You don’t need to be on staff at Martha Stewart Living to have a properly organized kitchen. There are simple actions everyone can take to stay on top of clutter and keep even the most unruly of spaces in apple-pie order.

Using containers to categorize items is one easy way to establish a degree of orderliness to all areas of your kitchen and pantry.

Containers help organize because they group items and help combat the sprawl that tends to happen behind closed doors – and drawers. By confining items to one place, they make clean-up less of a chore because that container can quickly be removed and washed under. Also, with proper labeling, containerizing can prevent ingredients and items from getting misplaced.

The counter-top canister, like the one pictured above, is an obvious illustration of the practical use of containers for organizing. It has been keeping kitchen counters neat for generations by grouping frequently used utensils together and keeping them handy for everyday tasks.

Choosing an organizing container

Here are three qualities to look for when deciding on the perfect container for the job. [Read more…]

Welcome to Simple Bites

Here at Simple Bites we want to come alongside you in your kitchen and demonstrate that great food doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy, and it can be so much more than macaroni and cheese.

Our desire is to inspire you in your day-to-day efforts to put wholesome, delicious food on the table for your family. We will provide you with an encouraging perspective as well as practical application on how to manage your kitchen and provide the best for your family—and yourself!

Along the way we’ll bring you tutorials, tips and tricks on every subject from preserving food to menu planning, and provide inspiration for both daily meals and holiday menus.

Me? Simple?

I discovered simple in a most unusual place. I had just walked away from a high-stress job in a renowned fine-dining establishment and was looking for something more. Relaxing on my first vacation in years, I found myself at a roadside café just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and experienced one of the best meals of my life—not to mention the biggest surprise. The dishes weren’t composed of delicate foams, trails of powder as well as six or seven other elements; rather they combined three or four bold and utterly fresh Latin flavors to create simple, yet unforgettably great food.

That was the start of my journey toward simplicity. Over the years, through motherhood, home management, four years of food blogging, and *gulp* turning thirty, I’ve learned that simple living is vital to my happiness—and to those around me.

[Read more…]