Tag Archives: Kitchen

Winter Survival Guide (24) ~ Getting Around to It.

We all have that something, don’t we? That something, or maybe even a bunch of things, that we keep meaning to get around to doing some day. Not necessarily great big things, but just those ‘niggly’ little things that maybe aren’t urgent but we know we need or want to do.

If you’re wondering what I mean, let me share with you some of my things that I’ve been meaning to ‘get around to’ for quite a while:

-Add addresses into my address book (an actual book, not an electronic version).

-Sort out my paper work.

-Tidy out my spare room, so that I can eventually turn this unintentional ‘storage room’ into a guest room.

-Reorganise my kitchen cupboard.

-Print out photos from the past couple of years to make an album.

– Meet up with a couple of friends to do creative things and play the violin together.

-Make an appointment with the doctor / dentist.

-Get new ceiling / spot lights and get them fitted as quite a few have stopped working.

Hopefully that gives you more of an idea of what the things you’ve been meaning to ‘get around to’ could be, or maybe you are well aware of them, but like me, you just never quite get around to them! 🙂 🙂

Maybe it’s not even something that takes too much effort, it could be that there’s  a particular novel that you’ve wanted to read, but you just haven’t ….yes you guessed it…..got around to it, yet.

Or maybe there’s a job needing done in your kitchen, not a big home-improvement project, but just something needing fixed. There could be a bit of your garden that you want to tidy before the weather gets too cold. Maybe you want to reorganise, or get organised with your household system (or create one if you aren’t quite at the point of having any workable systems yet). Maybe you’ve been meaning to call a friend to check in on them and see how they’re doing for a while, but the days just slip by. Or maybe there’s an email you wanted to write. Perhaps you want to create a scrapbook of memories from your family holiday, but instead of doing so, you let all the ‘bits and pieces’ you want to include in it remain scattered here and there around your house. Maybe you’ve been meaning to write out some recipes and update your recipe book if you’ve got one, or maybe you even want to try cooking or baking something new that you’ve been meaning to.

Whatever it is, sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of what we’ve been meaning to get around to, and a bit of a nudge into action. How easy would it be to spend one of these winter days or evenings just doing that simple thing that we’ve been meaning to do, or at least make a start on it?

For example, I could choose the photos I want to get printed and make a folder on my computer and then it will be easier when I do go to send off to get them printed.

Maybe I could spend some time one evening making a list or inventory of the specific lights in particular rooms that I need to get fixed so that I know how many I actually need.

I could write in one address at a time into my address book.

I could spend half an hour at the weekend tidying up my spare room, and at least I would have made a start.

Some of the ‘niggly’ wee jobs needing done can be done there and then. For things that might take longer, at least starting out, even if it’s just a small start will hopefully give us the opportunity to build momentum until we’ve accomplished that thing that we keep meaning to do.

So what is it that you’ve been meaning to get around to doing? And are you actually going to decide to get around to it in this season? 🙂

red screw driver on brown wooden surface
Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

Life lesson from the kitchen…

Sometimes the simplest lessons in ‘life’s kitchen’ are the most obvious, and yet yield deeper nourishment if we learn to feast on them. 

Today’s unexpected lesson was a reminder of what I have been working through on a deeper level for several years, that there is purpose in pain, and sometimes a very specific purpose. 

You’ve probably guessed by now that there was a minor injury in the kitchen. I burned the side of my finger when I touched a hot dish, and I surprised myself at the speed and efficiency of my actions in the retraction of my hand, and dousing it in cold water, in reaction to the sharp and targeted pain. An automatic reaction, and far less clumsy than had I tried to pull away and soothe myself purposely. To my physical senses, the reality of the heat of the dish was not apparent (although it should have been – temporary lapse of concentration shall we say), yet the instantaneous pain and reaction has been a saving grace. No major harm was done, I protected myself and the lingering sensation of pain, although fading, serves as a conscious reminder to myself to be aware and careful. And it has also served a bigger purpose in the expression of the lesson in this blog post!

I don’t know what pain you have in your life, but we all live in a ‘fallen’ and fractured world, in which no one is immune from pain. Perhaps it is physical, mental, psychological, or all of the above. The pain we experience differs, and often it can feel and seem arbitrary, chaotic, meaningless….unfair….? You fill in the blanks. However, just take a moment to think about how pain has served you in your life. Has it made you get out of a difficult situation (like my reaction to draw my hand away from a heat source),  has it compelled you to seek healing, comfort and relief (perhaps the Rivers of the Water of Life to soothe you)? Have you sought to learn how to soothe yourself in a healthy and safe way? And perhaps has the pain of your experiences left an indelible mark upon your mind that although reminds you of something painful and difficult, in fact serves as a life long lesson that in fact can benefit you as you realise that your reaction to pain in your life can be one of protection, healing, growth and learning? 

Pain is pain…there’s no way around that. Yet, we have ‘at our fingertips’, as sore as they may be, some of life’s deepest and most valuable lessons….what do you think? x

water flows from the tap to sink
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 4

For anyone joining this series, I am an amateur home cook, and for most of my life I have been vegetarian, however, more lately, I have been moving towards more of a vegan / plant-based diet. Therefore, this has taken me on a journey of experimentation, to create my own quick, easy, healthy vegan recipes from the healthy ingredients I have been incorporating into my lifestyle. Of course, I’m sure many others who know more about cooking can do it better, however, I hope that some of you find these ideas helpful, healthy, creative and nutritious ~ all that to say, if I can do it, I’m sure you can too! 🙂 Happy cooking! xx

recipe.jpg

For this dish, I boiled white rice with green beans and added in some spinach leaves that I needed to use up. I think the process took around 15 to 20 minutes.

I oven roasted frozen sweet potato cubes for around 20 minutes with some seasoning.

You can add your preferred seasoning to taste, however, at various points in the cooking process, I used salt, pepper, lemon juice, mixed herbs, a sprinkle of red chilli flakes and some sunflower oil spray when oven cooking the sweet potatoes, but you can be as inventive as you like according to your own taste buds and for whoever you are cooking for.

The sauce is from a ‘free from’ range of supermarket sauces, and is vegan. It is a ‘korma’ sauce that I mixed in towards the end.

Freshened up with a side of cucumber sticks and red pepper humous, this made a tasty yet simple meal, with both fresh and slightly spicy flavours, balanced by the lemon juice and light seasoning.

I am very new to seasoning, as you may be able to tell, and I tend to just experiment with what I have, however, any advice from more ‘seasoned’ cooks 😉 will be heartily welcomed!

As a side note, I made quite a lot of rice, and therefore I only mixed in the sauce with the portion that I ate as shown in the picture. This means that I can use the rice for my next meal, or even eat it the next day, and change it up a bit, perhaps by adding some spring onions, or other sauces or flavouring to keep it interesting. With the sweet potatoes, as well as having them as a side, you can also add them into your dish if you prefer.

Hope you enjoy, & happy cooking. 🙂 xx

 

QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 3

 

P1230850

P1230854

Potatoes – 4 ways.

This is also an experimental recipe that worked out quite well. 

Ingredients:

Baby potatoes.

Spinach leaves.

Cherry tomatoes.

Vegan BBQ Sauce.

Seasoning to taste (I used cracked black pepper, herb ‘salt’, sunflower spray, chilli flakes, lemon juice and reduced-fat red pepper humous).

Method:

This is very simple, and yet is also an elegant and tasty dish. I washed the baby potatoes and cut them, cooked them on full power in the microwave for around 8 minutes (settings will vary depending on the make and model of your m/w). After which I stir fried a portion of the potatoes with some spinach leaves using sunflower spray, lemon juice, black pepper, & herb ‘salt’, and added in cherry tomato halves towards the end.

I used another small portion of potatoes to make potato ‘stacks’, layered with the vegan Memphis BBQ sauce. I mashed the rest of the potatoes, and from the mash I made a potato round, which was seasoned through with pepper and a few chilli flakes. The last bit of potato I served as mash mixed with seasoning, and with a little of the BBQ sauce through it.

Garnished with the baby spinach leaves, and some sauce, with a side of humous. Not bad for an amateur cook, and very tasty – why don’t you try it, you might like it if you’re in the mood for potatoes 🙂 !

 

 

“I had the tile of my life…!” (Simple kitchen / bathroom upgrades).

If you are feeling like you need to brighten up your kitchen and / or bathroom spaces, but don’t want to over commit yourself in case you change your mind or colour scheme at a later date, why don’t you try some adhesive tiles instead of real ones?

I got these from Amazon (2 packs of ten) which was enough to tile horizontally across the strip behind my kitchen sink, as well as tiling a couple of shorter rows in the space underneath my work top.

These are incredibly easy to use and look quite convincing, and you can find the style that suits you best and brings a smile to your face 🙂 Enjoy some before and after pics, and your own experimentation! xx

 

tiles.jpg

Rethinking Space

Admittedly, friends, it has been a few weeks since we last ventured together in this ‘home improvement’ series, but that’s because I have been busy with the practicalities of this venture, which I hope will bring some benefit and inspiration to you as I share my progress with you. That being said, come and join me in some musings as we together rethink our space…

Throughout the ages, human beings have both influenced and been influenced by the spaces we inhabit. I have no doubt that countless studies have been conducted into the psychology of wellbeing and mental and emotional health in relation to our external environments. How often ‘clichés’ such as ‘a tidy home and a tidy mind’ have depths of truth to them that are well worth exploring as we seek to enhance our well being and the quality of our lives. We might do well to consider the words of John Denver and similar sentiments of many before and after him, “It’s the little things that make a house a home…”. 😉 

I am keenly aware that I myself and anyone reading this (presumably) are blessed with a ridiculous amount of choice with regards to how we live and what we do with our space, in a way that despite our limitations, many others across our little planet find far beyond their grasp to even hope of experiencing. 

Presumably (and please forgive me if my presumptions are inaccurate) if you are reading this, and are a blogger yourself, your concerns relating to choice and living conditions have nothing to do with whether you will be able to maintain a place of shelter, how far you have to walk to the nearest well to obtain safe drinking water, and how many people are able to cram into that one room in your ‘house’ that your entire family and perhaps others have to sleep in. 

Put that way, we may find ourselves asking whether it is selfish, arrogant, excessive or indulgent to make much of the luxurious spaces (whether we had previously considered ‘our lot’ in that way or not) that we are so fortunate enough to inhabit. 

Well, sad to say, it can be all of the above, but equally so, rethinking our space and being faithful ‘stewards’ of what we are fortunate enough to have can have a positive impact on our well being and on the lives of those around us. 

Of course, everyone is different, and some people work well amid their ‘organised chaos’ which incorporates ‘systems’ that only they can understand. Having experience of depression, and the resultant feelings of being overwhelmed by untidiness and lack of order, I am aware that our environments and living spaces can influence our mental well being in terms of contributing, whether rightly or wrongly, to our perceptions and feelings that we are ‘unable to cope’. Conversely, establishing systems, knowing that there is ‘a place for everything and everything is in its place’ makes daily living so much more productive, less stressful, and easier to manage. Knowing that there is a place for my keys and knowing exactly where that place is (and so on for each type of item I have) and that it will always be there lessens, even marginally, my anxiety, my stress levels, and impacts my attitude as I step out of my home into a new day at work or being in contact with the outside world in some way, and means that I am better able to focus on doing things well and communicating well and patiently with people, rather than stressfully and hurriedly struggling through. 

I have found that breaking through the barriers of overwhelm that my big declutter and spring clean initially brought on while being surrounded in a mountain of chaos, has given way to the establishing of order, calmness, happiness to be in my space, which in turn makes me more available to open my doors to the people I love, to be hospitable, to reach out and not only have a place for me to rest, but for others to enjoy, be built up in, and for us all to go out a little more positively and with some clearer thoughts as we tackle the bigger issues in the world whether that be in our jobs, families, relationships or being more aware of others around us. 

Whether we allow our thinking about our space and what we do with it to become a self indulgent occupation, or something more positive has a lot to do with our attitudes, and where we place our hearts and our desires. 

I believe that homekeeping is an art, and even though I live alone, it does impact the people in my life, and if I am so blessed to one day have a family of my own, I believe that striving to maintain a peaceful and calming environment that I haven’t always had is important for creating an atmosphere of growth, wellbeing and good communication as well as orderliness, inspiration and functionality. 

But it’s all very well to be philosophical about it, but what do we do when we find things so difficult? If you have been with me for a while, you’ll be familiar with some of my earlier blog posts in this series, however if you are new, *Welcome* and I hope you find some inspiring starting points to make progress on your own journey in this regard in my series on Home & Lifestyle which you can find in my main menu. 

I will, little by little show you what I have accomplished and learned so far, including some photos along the way. So for now, here is a little glimpse of a space that I have rethought….how does it make you feel to consider what was before, and what has come after? 🙂 Much love. xx

Kitchen – beneath worktop space, before & after (please note that this space has been further updated with the addition of adhesive tiles, & some other decorative and functional pieces…the basket is used as a pantry storage area):

kitchen under sink.jpg