Friday, August 16, 2013

A Baking Station, and Some Kale Chips

Hello friends!

As you can see by the title this post is all (mostly) about the baking station in my kitchen.  I think having your kitchen organized into specific stations is really important.  Believe it or not even before I started this Kitchen Overhaul, I had a few stations already in place.  The baking center is one of them.  Before we even moved in, I had this baking station set up in my head.  Over the last few days, I've been focusing on making it more efficient and organized.  So let's take a look.

This is the area where all of my baking things are kept.  I showed the organized drawers off in this post.

This is the before.  As you can see I had a bit of organizing going on in the upper cabinet.  I just had to adjust a few things.  In the lower cabinets, it was a hot mess! 

Let's take a closer look at the uppers.

I haven't added to labels to them all because they sometimes change depending on what I have in stock. 

This is where I keep all of my baking goods.  During this whole organizing process I've been moving around my shelves.  This may seem obvious but simple things like adjusting shelf height can really make cabinets more functional.  In this cabinet I raised the height of the top shelf, so my larger bottles of extract could fit better on the second shelf from the top.  I used a command hook to hang disposable piping bags on the door.

On the very top shelf is just extra stock.  The box of Bisquick is empty but I keep it for the recipes.  I keep meaning to make a recipe binder but I'll have to save that project for another time.  When I took the before picture it was right after a trip to SAMs in which I had stocked up on my nuts, and I hadn't gotten a chance to refill my containers.  Typically I store whatever is left in the bags, in the freezer.

On the second shelf from the top I have two bins that I got from the Dollar Tree.  Love that place!  One is filled with food coloring and other decorating things, the other holds my extracts and other items that I typically use for baking.

On the bottom two shelves I use airtight containers for sugars, flour, nuts, etc.  I know a lot of people love those OXO containers.  I would have loved to stock my cabinets and pantry full of them too, but they're pretty pricey. 

My not-so-secret, secret; Better Homes and Garden containers.  They look almost exactly the same, they function almost exactly the same, but they are cheaper!  I picked mine up from Walmart and filled my cabinet slowly but surely, adding 2 maybe 3 at a time.

It flips open, then flips close to get that airtight seal we all want.
So, on to the the lower cabinets.  I actually made the most changes here.  Take a look at this before and after:

The biggest difference is the new pull out drawers I added.  My husband was giving me an awkward look as I giggled looking at them.  I'm really not sure why these new organized spaces don't impress him.  Whatevs!! I love them!

So yeah, back to the pull outs.  Like I've said (probably too many times) I'm doing a major overhaul.  One of the tasks that I wanted to accomplish was to install new under cabinet garbage and recycling bins, and I did.  I chose the area just to the right of my kitchen sink.  Those cabinets had two pull out drawers.  When I removed them, I thought... hmmm, I bet I could just re-install these in another area in the kitchen.  Voila! (Not so) New Pull outs in the baking cabinets. WINNING!!

Whats inside?

 The bin in the front contains my stand mixer accessories. behind the bin I have my regular hand mixer.  I hardly use it these days.

My mixing bowls.  Yes, I only have three (only 2 are pictured).  I do lots of baking and cooking and still haven't ever needed more than three at one time.  Behind the mixing bowls is a rarely used loaf pan with an often used measuring cup inside.

Pans for cakes, tarts, and muffins live here.

My cooling rack, cookie sheets, and 2 different sized cupcake tins are all housed on this drawer.  I also have one of those bakers mats.  I was about to toss it, but I decided to keep it and use it between some of the tins to keep them from sliding around.

Everything else that you can see in the before picture that is not in the after, either found a new home or was tossed.  My much larger sheet cake pans were moved to that drawer under the oven that I don't use often. 

That's it for my organized baking station...


Before I leave you I want to share a quick recipe for Kale Chips.  I know this seems totally out there, and off topic, but this is what I was munching on during this cleaning out process.  I posted it on Face Book and peeps showed interest so I thought I'd share.  Like my page if you want to join the fun, and see some of my late night baking antics... top right!!! LOL, shameless plug.)

Chili Lime Crispy Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale, rinsed and dried.  I actually had mine sitting on the counter all day.
1 lime
Chili and Salt to taste
3-4 Tbsp olive oil

What to do:
After rinsing your Kale, and removing the rib, break them into small chip sized pieces.  Lay them on a sheet pan and squeeze lime juice over them all.  Allow to dry.

Once completely dried, and this is extremely important, otherwise you'll have steamed Kale and it's just not as good, drizzle with olive oil.  I drizzled, then tossed to evenly coat.  Then because I didn't want them too oily, I moved them to another cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread evenly in a single layer, also very important.

Sprinkle with chili powder and salt.  I think I added too much salt and not enough chili.

Bake at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes.  Check often, because they cook and crisp pretty quickly.  They should feel super light when you pick one up to pop it in your mouth.  

Disclaimer:  These are not potato chips (as some would lead you to believe).  They are a healthier option, that definitely suited my munchies.  These crunchies, plus a cold bottle of crystal light, and my favorite Pandora station helped me organize through the wee hours of the night.  Hey, whatever works.. right?

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I am seriously coveting your upper cabinet. All those square clear containers = true love! It looks amazing.

    1. Thank you so much! I got those containers little by little from Walmart.