I alluded to my overstuffed freezer last week, but my cabinets can be an equally scary place. I only have a few of them, and they get cluttered really quickly – especially since I’m always buying/receiving samples of fun new ingredients that I don’t have immediately plans for.
I spent a few hours over the weekend cleaning out my two main cabinets and I’m pretty impressed with the results (if I do say so myself!). Keep reading to find out how you can win a cabinet makeover of your own!
I can’t believe I’m actually going to share the before photos with you (they were so bad!)
This double-cabinet is my “main” cabinet where I keep almost all of our food. (I also have a baking cabinet, which you’ll see below) and another narrow cabinet that I keep oil, vinegar, and tea in.)
Before this weekend, it was sort of a “shove the new stuff in wherever it fits” situation. Which meant a lot of stuff got pushed to the back and forgotten about (it doesn’t help that the left half is in the corner over my sink and is pretty hard to reach.) I ended up throwing out a pretty decent amount of expired food, plus finding some things I had completely forgotten about: I bought a new jar of hoisin sauce last week, but apparently I already had a brand new one. I also discovered that I have two jars of apple butter – plus homemade in the freezer – and two containers of polenta. What a waste of money!
Once I cleaned everything out, I lowered the bottom shelf and corralled what was left into a set of OXO Pop containers. I’ve been using these containers in my baking cabinet for a while, and they really help keep things organized there – I hope they’ll help with my main cabinet, too! They’re square/rectangular so they stack together neatly and don’t waste space like round containers do. The lids are flat, so they also stack neatly and make good use of vertical space.
Even though the containers are clear and you can see what’s inside, I still like to label them. I bought a set of chalkboard labels and a chalk marker so that I can change the label as the contents change (I strongly prefer the chalk marker to actual chalk; it’s easier to write neatly and it doesn’t smudge of, but you can still remove it with a damp cloth). I also like to include cooking guidelines and other identifying information – expiration dates, brand names, etc – that might be useful in the future.
My baking cabinet wasn’t quite so bad, since I was already making use of the containers, but adding a few more still made a difference. I need to pick up a few more of the smaller sized ones for the few odds and ends that are still loose (chia seeds and a few more bags of specialty flour).
If you don’t use them for your baking supplied yet, that’s where I’d start. They’re great! I love being bale to dip my measuring cup right into my flour or sugar instead of messing around with the bag. They’re really easy to open and close with one hand, which means I can work faster and cleaner. The lids are also airtight, which helps keep things light nuts and dried fruits fresh (it also keeps my brown sugar soft and scoopable.)
(Yes, I have tofu in my baking cabinet. No, I don’t have a good reason for that. It was just the only place I could find for it!)
These pancakes were inspired by my cabinet makeover. Since I found two containers of polenta in the cabinet, I decided I should probably use some of it! They also use whole wheat pastry flour that I had completely forgotten about.
I’ll be honest: they aren’t my favorite. Shawn loved them though. They’re pretty savory and I think I just prefer a sweeter pancakes (give me a stack of oatmeal pancakes with raspberries any day!)
Polenta gives these crepe-like pancakes a great texture and a savory flavor similar to cornbread.
15 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup polenta
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (from a carton)
- 1 egg
- 1 ounce white cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for the pan
- 1 pinch salt
- Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, mix together the milk and egg. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the cheese. Let sit 10 minutes.
- While the batter rests, make the avocado butter by mixing together the avocado and butter until smooth. Season with salt and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Melt a pat of butter in a pan over medium heat. Pour in 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until the top is dry and bubbly. Flip and cook another 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve with avocado butter and maple syrup.
Are you inspired to make over your own cabinets? OXO and The Container Store are giving away a prize pack worth $500, including your choice of OXO Storage & Organization tools (up to $250) and a $250 elfa gift card. Enter on Facebook (the giveaway runs from Monday, October 13 – Friday, October 31.
What would you pick? Here are a few itms on my wish list:
Disclosure: I received a set of OXO Pop containers, which I already own and love, but did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.