It will always feel a bit overwhelming when starting something new. Just keep it simple and start here. And I know, sometimes we like to skip the details, but it will only really work if you read through these steps.
Please note: We are not suggesting that you need to have all of the suggested kitchen tools and pantry items, it is simply a best case scenairo. We have cooked many, many years with simple kitchen tools. Let’s build your kitchen and pantry over time!
Clean up is easy to do, anything over 6 months, should go.
1.CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE
This is the closet to your Louis Vuitton! Anything that is not gold goes! Just get rid of it. That grated Parmesan cheese in the back, it’s gone. That lingering soda you forgot in the back, gone. The no name brand salad dressing that’s hardened on the bottom, please, out. That spicy jelly you bought at last year’s Christmas market, out, out, out!
Pull out the shelves and give them a good wash. Buy clear simple reusable containers so you can see exactly what’s in there. Then plan how you will organize your meats, fresh herbs, produce and cheeses. Pull it to the front, don’t hide it in the back, if you can’t see it, you won’t use it and it will waste. And please, your fridge should not be overstuffed. Every week you should completely use up the fresh ingredients in your fridge.
Give that fridge a big hug, its just become your best friend!
2.CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY
Stocking your pantry is one of the most important factors to successful kitchen organizing. Anything in there for more than a few months, get rid of it (dry spices can be kept up to 6 months, but no longer).
Please, please, please no knock-off’s. No we’re going to replace your pantry with only special whole and beautiful ingredients. It’s best to remove all of the processed foods like store-bought sauces, soups, chilis, dips, dressings, pre-made taco mix, etc. (okay maybe leave the chips and popcorn).
Please no pre-made tomato sauces, we’ll help you replace that.
Keep only the good stuff
When it comes to spices, you shud not keep any dry spices older than 6 months. For day to day cooking we will be using fresh basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, sage, rosemary, dill, etc. But of course, we still need the dried spices and will replace them for you over time through our weekly Dinner Plans. We are also not a fan of pre-mixed spices like Montreal Steak Spice, or Lemon Pepper, etc. We will teach you how to cook with authentic natural spices and if we need to blend spices, we will do that at the time of cooking. We also be tempted to buy spices in bulk, however, you never know how long those spices have been in the bins, so we suggest buying sealed spices, and transfer into your labeled spice jars.
3.WHERE YOU’LL SAVE AND STORE YOUR
WEEKLY ANNA DINNERPLANS.
VERY IMPORTANT! Every Friday, you will receive a new DinnerPlan, which has been designed to fit your iPhone screen perfectly. When it arrives in your inbox, save it to your iBooks and move your iBooks App to your home screen. (see right image where we have moved our iBooks App to the lower menu bar for easy access). You can also see our Insta-cart Online Grocery Delivery App, if you wish to shop online, download the App and save it to the lower menu bar as well.
You will be tempted to print it out, but we ask that you don’t. Let’s help save trees and learn to work from our iPhones, iBooks, iPads, and laptops. Okay? You will always know where it is and its neatly stored away. It’s hard to change but you got this! Remember that rotary phone? You learned not to use that anymore right? And you vowed you would never go on Instagram, but there you are checking your feed! We promise, you will learn! And you can always listen to nice music on your device, while you cook which is lovely. Did we tell you High Valley is our family?
4.CHECK YOUR TOOLS
I alwasy say a good cook doesnt really need special tool, but as Ive learned cooking is so much more enjoyable when you have a collection of excellent tools. Like that Mercedes-like VitaMix, it’s so so worth it. A good knife makes cooking easy, a few good pots, yes. No gimmicks, get rid of them. But we do recommend the One-Pot its amazing! Mari has put together her list of kitchen essentials which you can easily order from our partner Amazon.
5.FIVE MINUTE PLANNING
Check your ANNA Dinner Plan’s each night before bed, just to make sure you know what last minute prep is involved the next day. Sometimes a recipe will call for a 30 minute marinade. Let’s just double check you have your ingredients ready, so you can sleep soundly.
6.OLD HABITS DIE HARD
Starting something new can be a challenge when life continues to happen all around us. If you follow the ANNA Dinner Plan for two weeks, our promise is you will save money, reduce stress and you and your family will be so much happier! And make sure to follow Mari on Instagram where we publish daily and will keep you up to date with Mari’s own progress and she’ll host cooking shows from time to time. Follow us on Instagram now.