DIY Toothpick Container


The toothpicks I bought came in a thin cardboard box. The typical packaging for toothpicks. I thought this annoying and a bit messy. What to do? The DIY toothpick container of course!

The thought of making my own toothpick container came to me as I was cleaning out the spice drawer. I came across a plastic spice container with a shaker lid, the kind with holes punched in the top to shake the spice out with. I decided to use this container to shake out my toothpicks instead. It was the perfect size to hold the toothpicks. So I washed it up and inserted my toothpicks. When given a little shake, the toothpicks pop out of the holes and I am able to grab however many I want.

For me, this DIY container is a much better option than the box the toothpicks came in. I am no longer finding toothpicks scattered about the drawer as they fall out of the flimsy box. I also like the fact that I did not have to spend money on a special container. It is always good to feel a bit more organized in the kitchen. As always, Happy Baking!


DIY Pot Lid Pot-Holders


While I love my pots, I do not like the fact that the lid handles get hot. I have felt the heat more times than I care to remember. A potholder seems a bit big. I just want to grab the lid and carry on. What to do?

I did not see any patterns for pot lid protectors so I made my own to custom fit my lid handles. I cut-out one long rectangle of fabric and folded it right sides together and one piece Insul-Bright insulation and placed it on top of the fabric. I sewed it together leaving space to turn. Then I turned the fabric and top-stitched all around.

Cut 1 piece of material on fold
cut 1 piece of Insul-Bright and place on top of folded fabric (right sides of fabric together)
Sew from folded edge down and across bottom stop to leave opening start across bottom and back up to fold (sewing on 3 sides only). Cut corners.
Turn and pin opening shut.
topstitch around all four sides.
Fit around pan lid to find where to place snaps. Sew on Snaps. I used 2 snaps per pot holder.

At first, I thought I would use a velcro closure, however, I did not have velcro on hand. Also, washing things with velcro can be a pain. I rummaged through my sewing box and found some tiny sew-on snaps. Bingo! This was just the ticket. I then fitted the pot-holders to the handle to see where the snaps should be sewn. Voila! My pot lid pot-holders were complete.

Do I like these? YES! Do they work? YES! Are they washable? Yes! How I like to use them is to snap them on the handle of the lid and then cook. I can grab the lid at any time without getting burned. After I am finished I have the choice of either storing them in the pot holder drawer or snapping them back on the clean lid so it is ready to go for next time.

So, the moral of my story…if you can not find what you want…MAKE IT. As always…Happy crafting!

Recipe Hoarding and What to Do About It


If you love to cook like I do, you may find yourself inundated with recipes. This overload of recipes can leave one unorganized and therefore, unproductive. Do not despair, there is hope.

I used to subscribe to a number of magazines which were loaded with recipes of delicious looking meals, tasty looking snacks, and tempting, mouth watering desserts. Of course, I had to cut out all the recipes that I was sure to make some day in the near future. These recipes were then placed in a nice, neat stack on the cookbook shelf.

Unfortunately, most of the time, these recipes never got made. My recipe stack accumulated into a pile and then an overflowing mound. The recipes I had actually made were put into a file folder that became so full I could not find the recipe I wanted without going through the whole folder several times. Same thing with my recipe card box. I knew the recipe was in there somewhere. At times, I even had my children help in the search for a beloved recipe. I did have some of my recipes organized in binders with clear sleeves. However, they too were not in a particularly great order. It was time to face the fact, I had become a recipe hoarder!

What I have learned from my recipe hoarding days is… You do not need fifty recipes for cheesecake. Some recipes do not look as appealing over time, aka..why did I save this recipe? While some recipes look good, I will probably never make them anyway…they take too long…the ingredients are crazy…no one else in the family would eat it, and so on. My family really only wants the “go to” recipe for their favorite dish anyway. Family favorites can never be replaced.

I write notes on my recipes after making them. So I might write “the best”, “yum”, “so and so likes”, “ok- but needs more seasoning”, “fast and easy”, “good but takes time”, and so on. If the recipe did not get a good review, it went into the recycle bin. No need to file that one away. Some of the recipes I hoarded were honestly never going to get made anyway so into the recycle bin they went. My pile was slowly getting smaller.

binder using divider pages to separate categories

I decided to keep my binder method for storing recipes. This time, however, I made separate binders for different categories so finding a recipe would be easier. So, a binder for desserts, breads, sides and appetizers, cookies, entrees, etc… Then each recipe was put into a clear sleeve and put inside the binder in more specific sections divided by page dividers. For example, the entrees binder was divided into chicken, beef, pork/ham, turkey, and seafood. Then, using the computer, I made an index for each binder. In this way I know what is in each binder and in which section the recipe can be found.

I also did away with my recipe card box. Some of the cards were written on both sides. I took these and copied them onto one sheet of paper using my printer. They were now easy to slide into a sleeve and put into the proper binder.

I have decided I will never again need a magazine subscription for recipes. My cookbook shelves are now organized and I am no longer stressed out because I cannot locate a desired recipe. After all the work I did to get my recipes super organized, I can honestly say my hoarding days are over. Lesson learned.