Cleaning Home Organization Reading Recipes

Pantry Organization

We have done so many household projects this year and now it’s time to do them all over again.  Pantry organization is back in the rotation.

It’s hard to stay on top of keeping the pantry organized.  Especially since we are in and out of there all day, every day.

It wasn’t in terrible shape, but it really wasn’t working for me and things were getting hidden.  I felt like there had to be a better way.  So, I bit the bullet and tackled the pantry this week.

We’ll see how this new, slightly different configuration works out.

First, I took everything out.  Ugh.  Every surface in my kitchen was covered in cans and boxes and bags.  Second, I cleaned all the shelves and the floors.  I even wiped down the cans and boxes.

Big Mess in the Kitchen

Surprisingly nothing had expired since my last foray into a pantry clean, so I really didn’t throw much away.  That was a consolation.  I guess.

The heavy appliances live on lower shelves so if they fall, they won’t fall far.  I decided they were pretty much in the place I needed them to be, so they got to keep their homes.

Canned goods, on the other hand, got a whole new place to live.  I put them on a less deep shelf off to the side.  While I do use canned food, especially tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, they aren’t really a daily go-to, so they didn’t need such prime real estate.

There are so many stunning pantries (is there really such a thing?) online and they always involve lots of clear bins and containers for cereals and pastas.  But, I am not throwing away packaging that has cooking instructions and expiration dates. So I’m never going to remove food from its original packing and put it in expensive containers.

Clear Plastic Bins for Corralling Like Items

I will settle for an organized pantry with mismatched boxes.  But I did employ several clear bins to corral things and am pretty happy with the outcome.


All my adorable aprons hang on a hook in the pantry.  I took this opportunity to launder all them and ironed them.  Yep, I did.  They all look so pretty, I’m almost motivated to put one on and start baking.

Just kidding.

What I’m Reading

On audio I listened to The Substitution Order by Martin Clark.  It is billed as a legal thriller.  It was a bit different than a normal detective type novel – more along the lines of a Grisham, but less intense.  Fun, smart and likable characters.  I’ll be reading more of Mr. Clark certainly.

On Kindle I am reading, okay wait for this title: 

The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America’s Enemies

This book by Jason Fagone has excellent reviews and though I’m not through with it, I’m enjoying it.  Full review next week.  That’s quite a title though, isn’t it?

What I’m Eating

Do you remember Hamburger Helper?  I think it was pretty disgusting back in the day, but hub always has fond nostalgic memories.  What I do like is making a dish in one pan.  So, I made a dish reminiscent of HH, but MUCH better.  As in actually edible.

As an occasional treat we like ground beef stroganoff.  But neither of us like mushrooms which seems to be a major ingredient in this dish.  This is the modified recipe I used, but if you like mushrooms you can add 8 oz of sliced white button mushrooms sautéed for about 5 minutes.

Beef Stroganoff Ingredients

Easy One Skillet Ground Beef Stroganoff

  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (optional – I used a sprinkle)
  • 3 tbsp flour (I used gluten-free all purpose)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup wine, or beef broth
  • 3 cups low sodium beef broth (I used Better Then Bouillon)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 or 4 cups dry egg noodles (I used 3 because I ran out, but 4 cups would be good too)
  • 1/2 – ¾ cup sour cream

Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic powder and cook until ground beef is broken up and cooked through. Drain any fat and return skillet to stove top.

Stir in the flour and paprika until thick, about 1 to 2 minutes. Splash the wine into the pan and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, cooking until wine is evaporated.

Gradually stir in the beef broth, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and add the egg noodles. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Stir often until noodles are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the sour cream and serve immediately.

Easy One Skillet Beef Stroganoff

Oh, by the way, if I need to pour wine into a recipe, why not pour a glass for myself?  And while I’m indulging myself, how about some crusty bread on the side?

Enjoy your weekend! XO