Organization 101 Day 10: Room by Room Organization~ Let’s talk about your Family or Living Room!

“There is nothing more calming than an organized home.”— Unknown

In my previous post on Room by Room Organization~ The Kitchen and Pantry, I mentioned the kitchen is the heart of the home. I genuinely believe that, however the living room or family room is where snuggles and relaxation happen. 

After a long day at work or school, then home to prepare or help with dinner it feels mighty good to just flop down on a comfy couch or oversized chair and just take a deep breath… relaxation.

Some of you may have young kids, some of you may be single, some of you may be in the golden years of your life… either way, that flop just feels pretty dang good some days!

My Living Room

The living or family room, whichever you call it says a lot about the character and style of the homeowner(s). Is your decorating style shabby chic, modern, eclectic, industrial, farmhouse, or something else? The style will inevitably dictate the type of accents you use.

My family this holiday season! Where is Frankie!!!!

My style is a mix between Industrial & Farm House. I love the metal & wood features the Industrial style offers. I also adore enamelware and cozy fabrics. I also love botanicals & birds… so,  I think I pull it together fairly well. Wallpaper coming back into style didn’t hurt my feelings either lol! Don’t hate me, but my house has a couple and I actually loved them, so I kept them. 

1. Extra blankets are always a nice touch! I mean can you really have too many blankets LOL!!! I keep about six in a cute tote rolled up tucked away in a corner.

No matter what your style is and how you incorporate it into your home, it is a reflection of what is appealing to your eye and soul. They say the eyes are a mirror into a person’s soul, well I think the home can be this as well.

2. Bookshelves hold decorative elements and books too 😀 I like to showcase special items in mine. Balance is the key.

The family room is the cozy spot in the home where each member can curl up with a good book, or share & talk about stuff.

3. Fireplace mantel in my living room holds several Apothecary bottles that match my decor. I collect these wonderful treasures and have them scattered in just about every room in my home.

“Being organized is really important in a fast-paced life while we have no time to deal with clutter. Be it physical or emotional clutter, it tends to make us sad and depressed or frustrated.” Julie Hage LifeOrganizing

I like my living room to be tidy. Here are some Walk Through tips for the Living Room:

  1. At the end of the day make sure all the throw pillows on the couch are neat and where they should be.
  2. Put any blankets away folded neatly and put back in the basket.
  3. Make sure there are no dirty glasses or plates left from snacks.
  4. If you have kids, then be sure to have them help you with this. Remember the Walk Through? Bag & basket in hand!  The concept is very simple to apply and it is one that my children completely understand. The walk through is simply going through a room and picking up AND putting away everything that is out of its place. If you need a reminder or missed that post, click HERE to read!
  5. Tidy any items that may have been knocked out of place in the room. 

Many of the topics I discuss in this series I learned from an incredible lady named Marla Cilley, A.K.A. The Flylady. Her book, “Sink Relections” taught me how to incorporate all these lessons.

Keep posted for the next in the series as we look at Room by Room Organization Bedroom & Closets!

If you missed my last post on Room by Room Organization~ The Kitchen & Pantry, click HERE to read Part 1 and HERE to listen to Part 2 at my Podcast.
Jump on over to my Podcast & SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss an episode!

If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!

Happy Day,

Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Organization 101: Day 9 Room by Room Organization- Kitchen & Pantry

“One of the core organizing principles of my life is that success comes through a delicate balance between making things happen and letting things happen.”— Robin Sharma

I decided to extend my Organization 101 Series a bit for all of you. Lets now focus on room by room and discuss some techniques I know you’ll be able to utilize in getting your life & home where you want it to be!

Many of the topics I discuss in this series I learned from an incredible lady named Marla Cilley, A.K.A. The Flylady. Her book, “Sink Relections” taught me how to incorporate all these lessons.

It was from the inspirations from her book how I developed my P.M.S. concept! So now lets get into today’s topic!

During the month of February, I’ll touch on the most common rooms in our homes and give you tips & tricks on how-to organize and clean with purpose. I thought we’d start with the kitchen & pantry… So lets go to my mudroom/ pantry.

In Photo 5 you can see I added some useful storage space by simply adding a couple over-the-door hooks. I was able to store my broom, Swiffer, and a large step stool.

Also adding a coat rack relatively higher up on the wall allows the lower area to house a can where recyclables, a mat for shoes, and dustpan can easily be stored.

Of course to make it feel homey I added some of my botanical prints and a cozy seat cushion.

My kitchen, like in most homes, is the gathering place when family & friends stop by. It’s just so natural to lean on the counter while your friend grabs a seat at the bar top and chat it up. A lot of problems get solved in the kitchen, as well as happy memories made.

It’s where little boys get to lick the icing off the mixer beaters… where soap-bubble beards are made and wet towel ‘thwacks’ happen… yes the kitchen is the heart of the home… after all it’s where we nourish those we love.

The Family that cooks together, stays together!

I have to have my morning coffee friends!

See below for pics of my kitchen!

Would you like to hear the rest of this post and find out how I keep my kitchen organized? Well, click this LINK to go on over to my Podcast to listen! Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to me HERE & THERE so you don’t miss a beat!

Click this LINK for the downloadable PDF for my list of Tips & Tricks to get & keep your kitchen organized!

Keep posted for the next in the series as we look at Living Room & Hallway organization.

If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!

Happy Day,

Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content. 

Get new posts delivered to your inbox.

Organization 101 Day 8~ My fave organizer, The Flylady’s 27 Fling Boogie!

“One of the core organizing principles of my life is that success comes through a delicate balance between making things happen and letting things happen.”

— Robin Sharma

Today we will discuss clutter! I love the quote I used today as I feel it fits into today’s theme perfectly. What is clutter? Is one person’s clutter another person’s happiness? Well, I think there is a reasonable balance we can have in our homes.

Are you a minimalist, a collector, or somewhere in between? I admit, I am a collector.

In today’s post I’ll be discussing the 27 Fling Boogie, a term and system created by author Marla Cilley in her book Sink Reflections. 

I have utilized this tool for years!!! I found this book over ten years ago, and still live by so many of its principles. I developed my P.M.S. program from it. You are wondering what it is??? Well it is a book called “Sink Reflections, by Marla Cilley”, A.K.A. The Flylady

My entire organizational series is based on what I learned from this great book.

Marla talks a lot about clutter and how to avoid it. I have jokingly said in the past that I don’t really dislike what I categorize as ‘organized clutter’! The Flylady says there is no such thing but I disagree! 

Organization 101 Series Day 7: Menu Planning & Meal Prepping!

“Organizing is what you do before you do something so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”— A. A. Milne

Welcome to the next article in my Organization 101 Series.  In my last entry I I shared a sample of Zonal Cleaning and how you’d been unknowingly working on creating these in your daily schedules & routines. 

I was happy to share that with all of you on my NEW Podcast. If you missed it, here’s the LINK.

As I mentioned, today’s post will focus on menu planning and some meal prepping. This can be a somewhat daunting task to those of my friends who don’t enjoy cooking, or grocery shopping. Well friends, believe me when I say if you implement this easy task, you might just change your tune about the whole process. 

Many of the topics I discuss in this series I learned from an incredible lady named Marla Cilley, A.K.A. The Flylady. Her book, “Sink Relections” taught me how to incorporate all this lessons. It was from the inspirations from her book how I developed my P.M.S. concept! So now lets get into today’s topic!

I also suggested having your family help with this process. Even if you don’t have kids, ask your partner or roommate to join in the fun!

If you are not organized and structured in this area of managing your home, you can end up spending more money on things you don’t need and won’t end up using. By planning your meals and therefore your grocery shopping lists you won’t find yourself buying ingredients on a whim or wasting time thinking about what you should be shopping for.

BONUS to this task include saving TIME & MONEY! With gas prices as high as they are, you’ll even save money due to less running back to the grocery store or market because you forgot something.

I recommend using shopping apps as well.

PRO TIP: Keep your cart open all the time! As you use something or only have one of an item left in your pantry, you can quickly add that item by scanning the barcode of the item. Most shopping apps have a tab called Your Items or Your Favorites. Utilizing these saves time. You are not aimlessly walking around in the grocery store trying to remember what you need.

With Menu Planning, you will only shop for the items you need for the meals you plan to prepare that week, thereby saving money.

Menus & Grocery lists

There are a few ways you can plan your menus: Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, or even Annually. I’ve done about all of them. Currently I am using the Monthly menu planning as that fits my family’s lifestyle best. However I have done it for the entire year.

The process is simple!


Plan a day where you and your family can sit for about a half to a full hour. I like to do this on a Sunday afternoon as it tends to be more of a family day. I gather up my calendar and my cookbooks and we all get turns to add to the menu. I generally have a main, side, veggie and occasionally a dessert. We are not big dessert eaters, so we only plan a dessert about once a month.

Menus by the season! We attend several farmers markets throughout the season, so I adjust our menu planning according to what is growing in our area seasonally. During the market season- April through November we purchase the bulk of our vegetables from the farmers market and also grow a few ourselves. In the spring we eat a lot more salads, summer holds its bounty in just about everything, and in the fall we eat more root & squash vegetable crops.

Here is an excerpt from my previous blog where I show you how to create your menus for the year just in case you’d like to be ambitious or simply knock it all out in one fell swoop.

I designed two groups of menus according to the seasons. Spring & Summer menus focus on the fresh produce we’re growing and that’s available. The second is Fall & Winter which features what we’ve canned, frozen and what’s in the root cellar along with what we’re still growing in the fall garden and winter hoop house. I created eight weeks of menus for each group. This allows me to rotate over two months. I keep that week’s menu on the fridge so we don’t have to think about meal prep, especially during our busy gardening and canning season. Having a menu helps in grocery shopping and meal prep every morning.

Now, let’s look into organizing your life with Menu Planning and Grocery Lists.

PRO TIP: Include this job in your control journal in one of your desk day jobs.

Menu

Planning

Tips &

Tricks

I love anything that will simplify my life in the everyday stuff that needs to be done like preparing meals for my family. Remember my P.M.S.? The ‘what’s for supper’ question can quickly become spaghetti all too often without menus! I’m sure many of us can relate to that! So I thought it would be nice to share a few tips in menu planning.

*First take 1-3 of your favorite cookbooks and 1-2 blank monthly calendars and a PENCIL!

*First plan some of your family’s favorite meals before you scour through the cookbooks. Think about the groceries each meal will take beforehand. Fill in one breakfast, lunch and supper for each family member with their favorite thing over the two weeks of menus- don’t duplicate any meal and don’t include any desserts… YET.

*Have any family vacations, work or school days off, sports or other activities with special dates handy so you can take those into consideration. Don’t plan a favorite meal for someone when they won’t even be home for it!

*Decide if you will include breakfast and lunch! This may depend on summer vacation for kids, etc.

*If you plan to have a night out or order-in meal, jot those down next.

*Do you want to include desserts? If so, fill those in now.

*Now go to the cookbooks. I encourage you to try a new recipe once a week. This will be fun and will help you and your family find new favorites. It’ll also help you from getting in a rut of the same old thing.

PRO TIP: Be sure to jot down what the cookbook and the page number for the recipe on the calendar. I recommend using abbreviations for cookbooks. For example I would put LS for my cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats. If you don’t think you’ll remember them, jot down a legend on the back of the calendar.

If you haven’t purchased your copy of my popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats, click HERE.

Some extra tips when planning your menu:

*Do you have a garden? These should all play a factor in your menu planning.

Do you shop primarily at the Farmers Market during the season? Do you have any of your own livestock that you raise? Do you have your own chickens for eggs?

*Take into consideration what season you’re in. If you do the bulk of your shopping at the grocery store, seasonal crops will be far less expensive than items shipped from across the county. Shopping at farmers markets and/or having a garden can help save money here. Spring offers more salad crops & greens. Summer will be the mother load of produce and will eliminate much grocery shopping for fresh produce. Fall provides root crops such as potatoes, carrots, onions, and squashes. If you raise your own animals, butchering time is also happening now. Do you or a family member hunt? This can be an additional source of meat.

*Have your family members help create the menu.

This can be a fun family activity and sharing time of who liked and didn’t like what!

You now have two whole months planned out and it was so much fun and so easy. If you feel adventurous try doing another month and plan it out seasonally.

Grocery Lists Tips & Tricks!

Grocery lists are really not complicated and won’t take up too much time when you have your menus to work off of. Here are some tips!

*I recommend keeping a magnetic note pad or grocery list right on the front or side of your fridge! Each time you run out of something, jot it down or tick it off the pre-made list.

*Google ‘grocery list’ and you’ll find oodles of styles to download. Keep a master in your control journal and make a copy for each week, unless you have a pre-printed notepad.

*You’ll need to go over your menu for the next week and shop accordingly.

*As I mentioned you can save a lot of money when you grow your own or at least eat seasonally. But if that’s not an option for you, shop at the farmers market which is the next best thing. There are many winter farmers markets as well that you can shop and support and still eat seasonally with root crops, storage crops and fresh greens.

*Stick to the list when you go to the grocery store. I’m sure most of you shop at several stores for different items.  Have a list for each store and coupons/ ad’s to go with each.

*If you have any returnables, be sure they’re ready to go and in the trunk.

*I always make sure I have my grocery list, coupons and shopper bags ready to go.

*Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry… you WILL buy things you normally don’t because ‘they look good’ at the time!

Keep posted for the next in the series as we look a concept I learned during a class I took. You’re going to love it.

Jump on over to my Podcast & SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss an episode!

If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!

Happy Day,

Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content 

Podcast- Organization 101 Day 4: Weekly Schedules & How they benefit you!

“Organization begins with awareness of what doesn’t work for us.”

— Unknown

Organization 101 Day 4: Weekly Schedules & How they benefit you!

Many of the topics I discuss in this series I learned from an incredible lady named Marla Cilley, A.K.A. The Flylady. Her book, “Sink Relections” taught me how to incorporate all this lessons. It was from the inspirations from her book how I developed my P.M.S. concept! So now lets get into today’s topic!

Do you feel there is no time to start the organization process? Do you ask yourself, “Why bother? I’ll never get this mess under control?” Do you have a houseful of ‘people’ that just seem to trail behind you wreaking havoc with what you just tidied up?

Well if you said yes to any or all of those questions, this informative blog will help you realize it’s not too late. It’s not impossible. It’s easy to get them to change bad habits too! Despite the challenges you are facing, YOU CAN do little things each day to bring peace to order in your daily life but following these simple steps I’m about to give you!

On this weeks Podcast, I discuss exactly how YOU can create a vibrant, happy, tidy home simply by utilizing schedules!

Click on this LINK to go on over to my Podcast & listen to me explaining how to get your life to a state of inner calm, and outer tidiness.

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to me here & there so you don’t miss a beat!

If you enjoyed this episode , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Happy Day,
Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Organization 101 Preview- Let’s do this thing!

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
– Anonymous

January is a time of reflection and renewal. Much like spring, (but with snow and cold), many of us reflect over the last year with a bit of regret, but also so much happiness with our growth!

Every spring & fall I jump into purge and organize mode. It’s out with the old and in with the new. Through the month of January I will be discussing some basic how-to get organized, but not just get there. I’m going to help guide you how to STAY there in preparation for the upcoming spring.

You can definitely get ahead of the game if you’d like, after all if you deal with the winter blahs like I do, organizing always puts me in a much grander frame of mind!

It’s time to regroup, pitch and toss the junk and tidy up what stays. Organization falls into one of my ‘love’ categories… everything has its place and everything in its place.

More Organization Tips: The Office, The Daily Home Blessing and Yummy Market Fresh Sandwiches…

Our homes should be a blessing to our family… and whether we like it or not, we moms/wives/ladies can make it or break it!  We need to strive to create an environment that is welcoming, peaceful and cozy for all who enter.  A clean, well kept and organized home will make these elements much more easy to obtain.  As the ladies of the house, when things are out of order and chaotic, we too feel that and then in turn present that through our actions, attitudes and behavior… “if mom’s happy, then everyone is happy,” is too true a statement! In “Sink Reflections”, by Marla Cilley, she talks about having a Home Blessing (another Buzz word).  What this basically refers to is our Mission Statement for our home as women, wives and mothers… it our goal for what we want our home to be… what we want it to reflect. I took this very seriously because I have high expectations!  One thing to remember in all this is that even though we have routines and schedules, we must be flexible… we are not drill sergeants, even though I have been accused of that, we are still mommy and need to teach and train with a tender hand so our little helpers want to help and get excited about the process as well.  If you have children you fully understand what I am talking about… I have had some really good plans drawn up, but when the baby is puking up a storm from a sudden flu bug… zone cleaning comes to a sudden halt… so be what the Lord has us to be first… woman, wife and mommy!  Enjoy yourself in your organizational quests, otherwise it won’t last and it will be just another burden!

Here is my Daily Home Blessing…



DAILY HOME BLESSING

GOAL: To train our dear children in the Fruits of the Spirit and how to apply them to their daily life… not just our
dear children, but also myself.

  • Each day is assigned 1 to 2 fruits- 9 fruits of the Spirit in 7 days of the week.
  • That day at lunch we review the Bible verse, let them say one that they remember, how many; what book; etc.
  • Each one of us focus on one area to work on that day:  IE. Sat- Temperance/Self Control: Kyle work on self control with reading materials… devotions above hunting/sports; Ethan work on self control by doing a job even when he doesn’t feel like doing it… and so on for each family member.
  • Give each other encouragement- work together.
  • Try to create a more peaceful, happy environment~ especially for when dear husband comes home from working.
  • BREAKDOWN: Sunday- Love; Monday- Joy & Peace; Tuesday- Long suffering & Gentleness; Wednesday- Goodness; Thursday- Faith; Friday- Meekness; Saturday- Temperance/Self Control.

“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy ,peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such, there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23.

Next to my gardens I enjoy being in my office next best… that is probably because it is garden themed and very cottagy…  There are several elements in the office that need addressing so lets dig right in!

Zone Cleaning the Office: this is my weekly schedule unless otherwise noted.
*Dust ~around all ceiling lines and down corners of the room;
~inside wall pocket as well; dust shelf and all furniture- Book shelf, desk, all file cabinets, dresser, printer, computer and computer desk, white cabinet, all pictures/frames, knick knacks, lamps.
*Wash windows and ledges; take down curtains first week of month and wash
*Clean off all table top surfaces; organize all papers that need it; put all catch all stuff in proper places; file papers accordingly; clean up bulletin boards.
*Change garbage.
*Vacuum carpet.

Here are some tips on Storage and Organization that I use in my office… now please take into consideration I do all the paper and book work for our farm: meat/egg purchases; 50 member CSA; produce purchase; organization of what my growers will produce; my fields and gardens; seed saving & ordering; I am the Market Manager for our farms Winter Farmers Market and I have over 70 vendors and all the paperwork that goes with that, write three blogs, not to mention all my household stuff… and so on and so on… so I do a lot in my office. It does get out of hand at times… especially when ‘other’ people start putting things in my office and on my desk.
*Because I technically deal with five different elements within our farm and dozens of sub-categories within each element I need to keep things separated and very organized.  I have 3 file cabinets that help me with this.
~ One is for all Household Documents- such as tax papers, appliance manuals and warranties, large item receipts of purchase, bank statements, policies, and any other things that would fall into this category.
~One is strictly for our farm- one drawer for CSA and the other for market stuff/meat.
~The other holds catalogs, and any ‘other’ paperwork that I need space for.
*I use baskets to store a lot of stuff- they are cute & decorative and very functional.  I steer clear of round baskets- they take up more space then they provide.  I like shoe box size rectangle and square baskets.  They sit nicely on shelves and look very neat.  Books stand nicely in them and most containers fit as well. I have a five shelf bookshelf in my office that holds some office supplies; reams of paper, envelopes, files, etc.~ several baskets that hide containers of stapes, pens, rubber bands, paper clips, index cards and such. 
*This shelf also houses many of ‘my’ books- mostly the crafty ones, my cookbooks and several of my scrapbooks.
*On the top shelf I have a couple more baskets that hold all my rubber stamps and stamp pads… I don’t do stamping very often and this is a good, out of the way place for me… not to mention the baby hasn’t figured out they are there yet!

*I have a couple of those really cute storage boxes too: one holds my Cricut cartridges and small supplies and the other holds what ever scrap booking project I am currently on… which brings me to another point… my office is also my Craft Supply storage room… sigh!  I dream for a craft room along with a first floor laundry and a bathroom I can do cart wheels in too some day… just to be able to set up all my scrapbook and cricut supplies is a dream… no room and too many little hands for that these days.
*On the floor under the bottom shelf I have two more of those large rectangular laundry size baskets that hold back issues of my favorite magazines… Martha Stewart Living, Country Gardens and Organic Gardening in there.  I do a lot of referencing in these for blog ideas.
*I have a really neat old drop leaf table that is painted a light tealy green… this is my desk where I do my field plans, pay bills and keep my day planner. I have several family pictures, and other containers that hold pens, and misc. office supplies on it. 
*I have a Computer table/shelf that I picked up at a garage sale… really it isn’t a desk at all… it’s actually a long (6feet), narrow (2 feet) counter with a top and middle shelf… I love it!  I have my lamp, printer, and PC on the top shelf while I keep stackable file trays on the middle shelf with other totes that hold my Trade Publication magazines… Growing For Market and Farmer’s Market Today, along with any other ‘current’ documentation that I am working on. Under the middle shelf.  On the floor under the middle shelf I keep my Cricut, a few other totes that hold my other favorite magazines… Countryside & Small Stock Journal, Mother Earth News, Acres USA, and of course Country Living… among a few others like Hobby Farm, Mary Jane’s Farms, etc. I know the FlyLady says pitch those, but I truly do reference them all the time. They often give me inspiration for my blogs… they are a part of my work!
*I have several other pieces of furniture in my office that I store crafting supplies, current catalogs, receipts and more… but I don’t think necessary to get into…
Some key tips that I like to use in my office is to keep current!  Don’t hang onto years worth of catalogs… With my seed catalogs I keep the current year and one year back to compare.  With us being a farm, I get oodles & oodles of catalogs… If I don’t shop them, I don’t keep them!  Recycle them and do everyone a favor. 
*Paper work can be so troublesome!  My philosophy is pitch anything 3 three years or older. With exception of  tax & bank documents, large purchase receipts with warranties and any thing else you will REALLY NEED!
*I have two bulletin boards: one is above my PC desk and this has any current and due bills for the farm, CSA group name list & schedules, and of course some inspirational sayings, cards and photos… it has to be cute!
*I keep a wall calender right beside my office chair which is between my desk and PC counter, I only write ‘family’ appointments on this one. I keep my day planner on my desk as well as a full size desk calender on my desk top.  I use my day planner for everything; farm related, family and personal- it is my tell all!  The full size desk calender is where I keep my hired girls hours and any other farm related appointments. on.  They are all together and can be easily cross referenced.  Day planners are a girl’s best friend!    
We are abounding with all the good stuff coming in from the fields and gardens… here are a few yummy recipe’s to help you use it up!  Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Melt
1/4 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
1 everything bagel, split
2 slices of an Heirloom Tomato
2 Tbsp. fresh Parmesan Cheese, shredded

Sprinkle half the Colby jack cheese over each bagel half; top each half with a tomato slice; sprinkle half the Parmesan cheese onto each tomato; broil on low for about 4 to 6 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.
Cornmeal Covered Green Tomato Sandwich1 1/2 to 2 cups finely ground cornmeal
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. season salt
2 large green Tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Shortening for frying
2-3 Tbsp. butter, softened
8 slices french bread, cut 1/2 inch thick if not already sliced
1. Combine the cornmeal and all the seasonings into a 1 gallon plastic bag; mix thoroughly.
2. Coat each tomato slice gently, one at a time in the bag of cornmeal mix; remove from bag.
3. Heat shortening in a large skillet over medium heat; fry tomatoes until golden on both sides; remove from skillet onto several layers of paper towel to absorb excess oil; pat dry.
4. Spread butter on one side of each bread slice; arrange 4 slices, butter side down in skillet; top with tomatoes and remaining bread, butter side up and fry each side until toasted golden on both sides.
Happy Day,
Jean

More Organizational Tips: More on P.M.S, Root Cellars, Freezers and Canning Room, Yummy Bar-B-Que Brush On Butters and Canning Recipes!

“Disorganization….. is merely the sign of a very healthy individual trying to do more in a shorter period of time than those lazy obsessively tidy types who can think of nothing better to do than  straighten objects in drawers and stuff like that which only feeds their own egos and makes them think that they are better than those of us who are truly gifted.”  Author Unknown… although it could be Neil!

Obviously this above mentioned quote is a joke… just in case you were wondering!  As many of you know from reading my blogs, I love canning! When I decided to write my cookbook, “Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats”, my main objective was not only to have all my favorite recipes in one book, but also to have a large canning section that wasn’t filled will all pickle recipes.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against pickles, even though I don’t much care for them… I just wanted interesting canning recipes… like Chocolate Syrup, Pesto, Marinara Sauce and stuff like that! I have a lovely canning room and Neil made us a root cellar in our basement that I am thrilled to have… and equally thrilled to fill every year!

P.M.S. is looked at in such a negative light… which I fully understand~ been there, done that kind of thing! Anyway several years back, even before I discovered Sink Reflections, my best friend and I were always looking for ways to organize and structure our homes and lives.  One day on the phone we came up with the P.M.S. Plan!  Prioritize, Minimize and Simplify our lives.  Now, my friend loves to make lists as much as I do… she is now a mother of six with bundle number seven on the way, Lord willing!  At the time of our P.M.S. she only had one child and I had three… life was a bit simplier in those days… but she is one of those ladies that likes to make really long lists and is filled with an exuberant amount of energy… she even chases ground hogs with brooms… at least back then she did.  As I am ten years older than her, her lists at times seemed unreasonable… she put too much work on her back… so was birthed our P.M.S. plan.  The motive was to help both of us look at what we wanted to accomplish in a day or week and then prioritize that list in level of importance; then look at the list and minimize it down to the most important and then simplify it down to what was really practical for our days.  After the list was P.M.S.’ed anything extra that was accomplished was just a bonus.  I have used the P.M.S. way for many things, especially when creating my routine’s.  

       


*Each spring we do an inventory of canned goods on the shelves as well as in the root cellar and freezer.  This way I know what we need to preserve that season and what I have plenty of.  I write this list in my Canning Journal… it is actually the first page to start each new season.
*After my inventory is complete I make a list of what items I need to can/freeze and the quantity I want to do. This is the second page in my journal for the current canning season. As each things get put on the can shelves, root cellar and freezer I have the sheer joy of crossing that item off my list!  A job well done!
*As mentioned above I keep a Canning Journal… of course! Every year I date the top of the first page with the year. I include the date of item canned, what was canned, the quantity and the size of the jars used.  If I purchased the ingredient, for ie. Blueberries for blueberry pie filling~ I will write down where I got the blueberries, if I picked or not, how much I paid per pound, how many pounds.  I also make notes of which children or friends helped.  I love making memories in my journals! 
*During the canning season, we often have to move jars and reorganize if there is not enough room left for a particular item.  I always keep similar items together. This makes it much easier for the children when I ask them to go and fetch me something.  For example, I keep all my tomato based products together; Spaghetti and Marinara sauces, Bar-B-Que sauces, ketchup, salsa, pizza sauce and V-8 Juice. The only exception to the rule here is Tomato soup~ that goes with the soups I can. I can apple, peach, blueberry and cherry pie fillings… these all stay together; Fruits, juices, jams and condiments are beside each other; potatoes, carrots, beans, beets are together as veggies; meats are right beside the veggies, then broth and soups, and so on.
*I follow the same rule for the root cellar and freezers.  I have several freezers: two hold frozen veggies and fruit, any freezer jams, and two hold meat items.  I try to keep all beef, pork, venison and chicken together… again this makes it easier for the children.
*Each spring the freezers need to be cleaned out and purged.  It never fails that things always seem to fall to the bottom and then the question, “where did that come from?” is asked.  Be sure to always date and itemize all items put into the freezer~ this way there is no question as to what & when! 
*The root cellar needs to be kept clean and organized through the winter.  Unlike the jars and freezers, the items in the root cellar will spoil much more quickly. Certain items should not be strored togethe such as apples and onions or potatoes.  My main goal is to always use the items that are ripening or not holding so well first and to be sure to purge and spoiled items. The old saying of one rotten apple will spoil the whole basket is true! 
  A great resource for root cellars is “Root Cellaring” by, Mike and Nancy Bubel, published by Storey Publishing,
www.storey.com  I will be going into a lot more on root cellaring this fall when the crops come in, so stay tuned!

         

‘Tis Grilling Season… here are some BBQ Brush On Butter Recipes along with a few more canning ones from my cookbook! Enjoy friends!

To 1 stick of salted softened butter add one of the following and mix thouroughly.  Let set in fridge for at least 3 hours so flavors blend through! NOTE: The herbs are all dried. 

Cajun Style Poultry Brush On!
1/2 tsp. oregano, crushed
1/8 tsp. thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
dash of red pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Lemon Basil Fish or Veggie Brush On!

1/2 tsp. lemon peel, finely shredded
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. basil, crushed
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Parmesan Butter Brush On!~ great to brush on veggies or even use in pasta or spread onto bread to make garlic toast!
1 Tbsp. fresh parmesan cheese, grated
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. parsley, crushed
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Garlic Butter Brush On~ great to brush on veggies or to make garlic toast
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Chive~Tarragon Brush On~
great on red meat and veggies!
2 Tbsp. chives, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon, crushed
2 Tbsp. parsley, snipped

Canning Recipes taken from, “Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats”. We all love condiments but don’t know how to make them!  Here are two great condiments that most people enjoy!

            Chocolate Syrup, by Jean Smith

1 cup Dutch cocoa powder
3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cup hot water
1 Tbsp. vanilla

SPECIAL NOTE: These measurements are to make 1 quart.  Adjust measurements for how many pints or quarts you want to make.
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl; pour 1 cup hot water into pot and add dry ingredients until thouroughly mixed; add remaining water; mix thouroughly until smooth.
2. Bring mixture to a boil; boil for 2 to 4 minutes, until sugar is dissovved, stirring constantly.
3. Revove from heat; add vanilla.
4. Fill pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
5. How water bath for 15 minutes.
NOTE: This foams up a lot while boiling. Stirring is crucial. You can take the pot off heat to let it go down a bit, always stirring, if it seems like it is going to overflow.

Ketchup
2 galons tomato juice
7 Tbsp. salt
2 small onions
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves, ground
3 cups white vinegar
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup Permaflo (thickener)

1. Put 1 1/2 cups tomato juice and  peeled and quartered onions in blender; run blender until onions are well blended; pour into learge kettle with remaining juice; cook until juice boils down 1/3.
2. Add vinegar and boil again; bring to a gentle, rolling boil.
3. In a bowl combine remaining ingredients and blend thouroughly; very slowly stir the spice mixture into boiling liquid- if you dump it in, it will clump!
4. Boil for 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally so it does not stick.
5. Put boiling mixture into jars, placing lid and ring on each jar as you fill it.
6. Water bath for 15 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts.

Happy Day,
Jean
www.fordragonfliesandme.blogspot.com
www.wreninthewillow.blogspot.com
www.farmgirlwisdom.blogspot.com