Quick Dinner Cleanup Checklist

Keep the refrigerator clear. A crowded refrigerator is an invitation to spills from things knocked over as you rifle through it before dinner. Related: The Ultimate Refrigerator Makeover

Cover the counter. To limit the mess when preparing meat, chicken, or fish, consider lining countertops with butcher paper (buy it from your supermarket meat department), then fold it up with the scraps and toss it when you’re done.

Fill the sink with hot, soapy water. As you work, drop in the tools and dishes you’ve used and let soak. (Put knives in a tall glass or other container so you don’t risk cutting yourself later.) When it’s time to straighten up, a quick drain and rinse often does the trick.

Clean up in stages. Keep a bowl beside your cutting board to toss scraps into as you work, containing the mess instead of spreading it over the counter. When you’re done, empty it, clear away any dishes you’ve used for pre -prep, and put away ingredients you don’t need before you begin to cook. Do a similar deck clearing at each stage, if you can, to make working easier and buildup lighter. Related: 24 Smart Kitchen Organizing Ideas

Cook cleanly. Line baking and roasting pans with foil or parchment paper to save scrubbing later. Slip a piece of foil or parchment between a pot’s rim and the lid to keep the lid spotless. Coat measuring cups and spoons with nonstick spray so sticky ingredients, like peanut butter, molasses, and honey, slide right out and the cups and spoons clean up easily.

Wear your towel. Tuck a towel into the waistband of your apron to wipe up small spills, which in turn won’t sit around becoming sticky blobs that need scrubbing later. Related: 9 Adorable Dish Towels

Use your downtime. While the water is boiling, the oven is heating, or onions are softening in the pan, you can be doing small-dose cleaning: Load the dishwasher to clear the sink; wipe up that spill; sweep the kitchen floor.

Set and bus your table like a pro. Use a rolling cart—whether wicker, wood, or a little red wagon—to carry dishes and silverware to the table, then clear it of dirty dishes, in one trip each way.

Clear the clutter. After dinner, gather the odds and ends from the rest of the house that have found their way onto the kitchen counters, the top of the refrigerator, or the floor, then put them all in a basket and have a helper find their homes.

Run the dishwasher before bed. Placing similar items together in the machine means you’ll make fewer trips around the room to empty it.

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Happy Valentine’s Day – Early

I know, I’m a bit quick on the trigger, Valentine’s Day isn’t until Thursday, and its only Tuesday, but I still wanna share some love with my followers.

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I may or cannot be able to post the next fwe days, cause my husband is home, and I am going to spend some one-on-one time with him.

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This is our first Valentine’s Day, together, since we got married. This is very special to me, to us, and I cherish every moment I am able to spend with him

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This is our first Valentine’s Day, together, since we got married. This is very special to me, to us, and I cherish every moment I am able to spend with him. I hope that all of my followers have someone to spend this special day with, n’, well, If you don’t, Just know that my prayers are with you, and I hope that I have not stirred up any bad feelings.

Chicken “Love” Soup – JIT for Valentine’s Day!

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1 tablespoon olive oil three large carrots, cut into hearts (see instructions above) 1 medium onion, diced 2 celery stalks, sliced
into 1/4 inch pieces 2 stalks fresh thyme (optional) 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 2 large sage leaves (optional) 4 cups low sodium chicken stock (All-Natural Swanson Chicken Broth, or Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock are my favorites.) 2-3 cups water 1/2 teaspoon vinegar pinch cayenne pepper (use your own discretion) salt and pepper, to taste 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (Poulet en Papillote is my favorite way to cook chicken breasts, and you can follow these instructions.) 1/2 pound small pasta, such as farfalle or rotini, cooked for about 1 minute fewer than the recommended cooking time fresh parsley

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1. In a large pot set over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, carrot hearts, diced onion, celery, thyme (both kinds), bay leaf, and sage. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add in stock, a cup of water, and vinegar. Add in cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. After about 20 minutes, check the soup for flavor, and add more water, salt and pepper, as necessary. 

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2. In each individual bowl, place the desired amount of chicken and pasta, cover with a ladle of the soup, and top with parsley.

I’m going to do this for my hubby, this Valentine’s Day, But since out stove was KIA, in going to use our (Wedding Gift) Crock Pot. 😀