Spice things up year-round with an indoor herb garden

August 26th, 2015

We’ve previously talked about storing your spices, but what about growing them? You can create an indoor herb garden in your kitchen, or right on your covered back porch, so you can enjoy fresh herbs all year long! Love to infuse your water or add a tangy taste to your recipes? Snip fresh basil, rosemary or mint leaves to add to your favorite dishes.

Some benefits of growing your own herbs and spices indoors include:

  • Limits bug infestations
  • Grows all year long
  • Within easy reach

First you need to decide how extensive you want your garden to become. Remember, the larger the garden, the more the upkeep, but you can grow all the spices you desire. If you want to grow several different types of herbs, you may wish to extend the garden onto your covered back porch, sun room or another space in your home where the herbs can receive as much natural sunlight as possible.

Large gardens

Going to grow for broke? Try this Vertical Herb Garden on for size. The eight rows allow you to plant several types of herbs or plants and the slanted design gives you easy access to each one. The vertical design also saves space in your sun room or green house, and herbs are designed to grow outwards so as you cut herbs, you are naturally pruning your garden!

Small gardens

Metal Planter by O.R.E. ImageIf you’re not sure how much time or money you are willing to invest in this project, the Metal Planter may be the way to go. This adorable flower planter features three small pots so you can grow three different types of herbs — or a lot of your favorite herb. Simply place this planter on your kitchen counter or window sill so you can easily snip off herbs while cooking dinner, preparing marinades and so much more.

Mason jar gardens

For more versatile gardening, hop on the mason jar bandwagon to create an herb garden that is the perfect size for your space and herb needs! Simply grab some mason jars from your pantry, decorate them as desired, and start planting your favorite herbs. You can even use some household labels to indicate the spices in each jar. Place these jars around the kitchen, dining room or sun room and they will also act as natural décor pieces for your home!

Find these products and more like them at StacksandStacks.com.
Mary Joesten is a content writer for Organize It, Stacks & Stacks and the Organization Store. 

Spice Mixology for a Customized Spice Rack

February 24th, 2014

My fascination with spices and love for them has birthed a new love for mixing spices.

Sure, you can buy all kinds of spice mixtures but it is so much more fun to make custom spices at home. First, you want to start with good quality ingredients. Garbage mixed with garbage only gives you… well, you get the idea. Go to a specialty shop or farmer’s market to discover the difference between good and “meh” quality spices.

spicemixtures

By mixing these up ahead of time and keeping them on the shelf, dinner becomes almost a no brainer, especially if you label the spice bottle with the name of the food you’re going to make. For example:

The bottle on my spice rack labeled “Crab” contains a mixture of pickling spices, whole mustard seeds, whole peppercorns, red pepper flakes, ginger and oregano. All I have to do is drop the pre-mixed spices in a boiling pot with the crab and there you have it – dinner.

This kind of spice “mixology” especially comes in handy for those who love to grill and barbeque. If you want to do it right, you definitely have to try mixing your own rub!  Do it however you like, then label the bottle “Pork Shoulder” or whatever, and then when dinner time comes around, look to the spice rack and see what speaks to you!

The Best Little Shelf Organizer

January 5th, 2014

Having a well organized pantry, kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets can bring great rewards.

How often have you bought a can of olives that you didn’t need or replaced a bottle of spice because you didn’t realize you already had it and it was hiding behind something else in the cabinet?  Or, if you’re like me, you forget about a dish you’ve been wanting to make because that key ingredient you bought is MIA in the pantry.

Whoever came up with the tiered shelf organizers is a genius in my book.  They are like little steps that elevate cans and bottles at the back of the shelf, so you can always see them and you don’t have to rearrange the cabinet to find out you’re out of grilling rub.

linusMy personal favorite is the Linus Stadium Corner 3 Tier Organizer which has multiple space-efficient benefits.  The shelf organizer is made from clear resipreme, so it looks nice and blends in with the cabinetry.  It has three layers and each one puts your spice bottles at a higher elevation, so you can see it and grab it easier.  Now, the kitchen cabinet is the obvious application for this handy little organizer, but it is actually pretty versatile.

I use one on my dresser for lotions and perfumes (of which I have many) so it’s easy for me to select the fragrance I want.  The bathroom cabinet where I keep spare bath products and travel size toiletries has also become more organized thanks to the step shelf organizer.  My seven year old daughter uses one in her bedroom to keep her doll collection lined up on different levels so you can see all their faces (sometimes she uses it to play “pageant” with her Barbies) and my son likewise uses it for his action figures…

…You’ve got to love an organizer with so much versatility, right???

Back to School Item: Wall Mounted Spice Rack

August 24th, 2013

You might be thinking, what on earth do spice racks have to do with back to school?

Well friends, I’m thinking about those of you who are sending a son or daughter off to college for the first time.  This is a really important time in life, when your 18-20 year old is learning about independence and living away from home.  You’ve taught them all you could about life and responsibilities, now their putting what they’ve learned to work.  How to clean up after themselves, do their own laundry, pay their own bills and most of all – cook for themselves.

With all the expenses that pile up when your sending a child off to college, you want to stay budget friendly.

wallspicerack

That’s why I’d like to introduce you to this Wall Mounted Spice Rack.  It has a modern design that your son or daughter will love, and a price that won’t freak you out.  When it comes to buying a spice bottle rack for someone who’s living on their own for the first time, I suggest keeping it simple.  Chances are, they aren’t going to do a lot of complicated cooking and won’t need a lot of spices.  Also, they probably will buy the cheap spices from the grocery store and keep them in the store bottles.  So you really just need a simple rack for storing a few basics like salt, pepper, garlic powder and maybe some thyme, basil, cinnamon – the common spices.

Another great thing that makes this spice rack college-friendly is that it mounts to the wall and you can pretty much be sure that they will have limited counter space.

Product of the Week: Drawer Spice Storage

July 18th, 2013

I was over at a friend’s house last week, helping her try out some fun summer recipes.  I always love getting a chance to see how somebody else sets up their kitchen – it’s always a good way to get some new tips!

Anyway, my pal Cara doesn’t have wall mounted kitchen cabinets. So, she keeps her spices in a drawer. She told me that for the longest time, she would just toss the spice bottles in there – only to waste time later on looking for bottles that rolled out of order. Now she has a clever rack insert, and everything stays nice and organized. I have to say, it looked pretty dang good!
I found this Expanding Drawer Spice Rack to be pretty clever and well designed:

drawerspice This spice drawer insert is fully adjustable to meet all of your needs. It’s also smooth and non porous, so cleaning it is a breeze.

Plus, it’s pretty stable – so you can easily take it out of the drawer for marathon cooking sessions, and then plunk it back in when you’re all done.

Storing spices in a drawer is a great solution for practically any kitchen. Admit it – you’ve got that one drawer in your kitchen that’s just kind of filled with junk, right? I know I do! So, clean it it out, put in a drawer style rack, and make that drawer into a productive member of your kitchen!