Posts Tagged“food”

Are you a dyed-in-the-wool neat-nick, or just don’t want to waste money by letting perishable food go to waste after being “lost” in the fridge? Either way, if you’re looking for the easiest way to organize your fridge and make it effortless to keep it clean, here are some simple, yet effective tips for organizing your refrigerator.

Start with a clean refrigerator.
When cleaning your fridge:

  1. Empty everything into a cooler, or place perishable food on the kitchen counter and cover with heavy towels to keep it cool.
  2. As you take things out of the fridge, use a damp Miracle Cloth to wipe down bottles and packages.
  3. Any perishable food that is past its prime should be tossed. Keep in mind that even bottled sauces and jam have a shelf life. (TIP: in the future, use a permanent marker to add the expiration date to the label. IE: If a container of chicken broth can be kept for 10 days after opening, write “use by” and add the date that’s 10 days out.)
  4.  Depending on the condition of your fridge, you may be able to simply wipe down the walls, shelves and bins with a cloth rinsed in water with a little baking soda added. If you have been putting off the job of cleaning and organizing your fridge, you may need to remove shelves and bins to clean them in an oversized sink or laundry tub. We’ve even known people to use a clean bathtub for that purpose.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Peppermint or regular Junior Mints



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a small bowl.  In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium and add yolks, cream and vanilla.  Scrape sides of the bowl.  Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
  2. Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, then roll each in sugar.  Place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheets.  With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each ball to create an indentation.
  3. Bake the dough, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until a cookie shape has formed (about 10 minutes).  If the indentation was lost during baking, press again.  Let the cookies cool slightly on baking sheet.  Press one Junior Mint into each cookie.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and let fully cool.

Here’s an easy recipe that is healthy and delicious. Make sure to save some for later, it’s even better the next day! Serve it with as slice of rosemary bread.


  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lb. Italian style ground pork sausage
  • 1 14oz. can ready-cut diced undrained tomatoes
  • 1 14oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup sliced yellow summer squash
  • ½ cup sliced zucchini
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked rotini pasta
  • Shredded parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.
    Linda’s Minestrone Soup Recipe
    Linda’s Minestrone Soup


In a large stockpot, cook sausage, onion and minced garlic. Then add carrots, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, beef broth, basil, oregano, pepper and olive oil. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10-15 min. covered. Add zucchini, yellow summer squash, and uncooked rotini. Bring to a boil and then simmer 10-15 min. covered.

Serves 4

Every year, I become more and more aware of gifts from neighbors and friends. The gifts that seem to standout the most are always consumable food items that my family can eat, even after the holidays have ended.

So, I’ve changed my gift-giving focus to be more on the actual containers and wrappers that will hold the food I give. It’s all in the presentation—and it’s so much fun to find neat little jars, tins, cups and containers.

Two of my favorite containers this year include the paper bake pans. They are the perfect bakeware/gift wrap combo. We blogged about these bake pans earlier this season, but I had to bring them up again. They are the perfect size and they look great once finished. And the best part, no dishes to clean after baking!

The unzipped glass bowl is my favorite container this year. I bought up a bunch of these funky ziplock bag-shaped bowls to fill with goodies for friends and neighbors. These bowls are so unique that you’re almost guaranteed the recipient won’t already have one. The bowls are fun to layout on a coffee table or countertop year-round, so your gift will keep giving even after the holidays.

Good luck searching for your perfect containers for gift-giving season this year.
Solutions Creative Director —Lori Ann

Did you know that 12% of food bought for U.S. households is discarded? That amount of food waste adds up: $600+ per year, per home, in wasted food costs. On a national level, the U.S. throws away almost 50% of the food we produce. To put this into prospective, New York City alone has an annual food surplus of about 50 million pounds.

Here’s a few tips on food storage that could help bring that wasted food bill down in your home.

Your refrigerator is the first place to start. Do you know what temperature it is inside your fridge? Fridge thermometers are cheap and easy to use. The optimal fridge temperature is between 40° – 37° degrees. Anything above 40° is a step closer to a danger zone where food can easily grow bacteria.

Surprisingly, the refrigerator door is the area in your fridge where the temperature fluctuates the most. Make sure you aren’t storing any perishable items like eggs or milk inside the door.

The more open space you leave inside your fridge, the better it will do it’s job. Cramming food into your fridge creates poor air flow—limiting your fridge’s cooling power.

Make sure to cool hot food before refrigerating. It should reach the 40° or below mark within 3 hours after being cooked. Food that needs to be frozen, however, doesn’t need to be cooled before being placed in the freezer, where it should reach 0° for optimal storage temperature.

The longer you store food in the freezer, the more likely you are to loose quality in taste. But you don’t risk your food spoiling as long as it stays at 0°.  Packaging food that will be frozen in multiple smaller containers is good practice. It allows each container to cool faster and helps prevent waste (from thawing too much food at once).  Ideally food should freeze within 2 hours after being cooked.

Quick Tips

  • Store meats on the bottom shelf and on a plate if there is concern of leakage
  • Separate fruits and vegetables. Gases from fruits may spoil vegetables faster or give an “off” taste.
  • Freeze fresh meats if they won’t be consumed within two days
  • Freeze food in smaller portions so you don’t thaw too much at once, frozen food should only be thawed once
  • If freezing soups or sauces, only fill the containers up 3/4 to leave room for expansion