March 6, 2014

5 Ways to Brighten Your Kitchen Mood

Cara Cara orange slices

It is time to brighten the mood in here. I’ll admit this winter, with the endless gray skis and perma-layer of snow is beginning to wear me down. I am cooking a lot of the same old stuff and am feeling somewhat uninspired. Time to snap out of it! Luckily, to help me take a step in the right direction my pals at Sunkist sent me a huge box of amazingly fresh citrus last week. The little oranges and apples were perfect for my children’s hands, we’ve all been chowing down. I also made yet another batch of Meyer lemon marmalade because I am truly dealing with an addiction at this point. This sweet care package is definitely helping me move in the right direction mood-wise. So, I thought today we’d talk about getting back in the swing of things and thinking spring.

Marmalade Painted in Waterlogue

1) Citrus: The package from Sunkist was the best kind of winter gift. There is nothing like a generous dose of Vitamin C straight from the freshest kind of source. Every day since it arrived I’d had at least two pieces of citrus either with a meal, or for a snack. I also used all the Meyer lemons to make marmalade. It is decadent to be sure, but perfect for adding a little pep to my morning toast. My daughter has become obsessed with Cara Cara oranges and you can see above how I’ve been packing them in her lunchbox. We also love the Little Snapper Pink Lady apples. They are perfect for a quick after school bite.

New tea

2) New Tea: Since I am more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker I am always searching for new flavors. Last week I found a Peach-Ginger that I love since it reminds of fresh fruit. I also love flowery teas, I find them delicate and soothing. I look forward to the day I can use these to make refreshing iced tea to sip all day long.

5 Ways to Brighten Your Kitchen Mood

3) Cabinet/Fridge Clean: I’m one of those people who finds cleaning closets cathartic. Even though winter is dragging on I’ve already done a little spring cleaning in my cupboards. The first things to go? Spices I still had from NYC! I also pulled some jars and condiments to the forefront to use in meals this month before they expire and go to waste.

Watermelon Salad

4) Remember Your Summer Favorites: My rotation of winter food favorites is getting a little old and I can’t wait to break out of the rut the second summer produce arrive. To that end, last week I actually made a list of recipes I can’t wait to revisit and new ones to try. Just reading through them got me excited to cook and grow this spring. Sometimes a little taste of what is to come is just what you need to be reminded that winter won’t last forever. We hope.

Enamel Baker

5) Shop!: I am no stranger to retail therapy and I’ve been taking advantages of early spring sales here and there. Not only have I selected a few new teas and a great pair of summer sandals, I’ve also found a pretty new vase and add a few things to my kitchen wish list. I know suggesting that you spend money to brighten your mood seems a little weird, but sometimes a little spring treat for your kitchen (and yourself) really does the trick.

(Disclosure: Sunkist sent me packages of citrus and apples as a courtesy. I was not compensated to write this post.)