Good Idea: Whisk app

Would you like meal planning help — and prefer it not be on paper? This app may be for you.

Whisk is an app that allows you to pull together recipes from in-app communities, Pintrest, or other online sources. You can save the recipes in your own folders, named as you wish, and then use the recipes to create meal plans and shopping lists.

Cookbooks are lovely, but often it is quicker and easier to simply search for chicken + artichoke in recipes online and find what will work for the ingredients on hand. This app is an option for corralling all the recipes you have found and made successfully (or found and would like to make).

You can join communities of special interest (like gluten-free, paleo, slow cooker, etc.) in the app to find more targeted recipes. In addition, you can search anywhere online and still have a “share” option for the app, which allows you to add the recipe from another site into your app collection.

When it is time to make a meal plan for the week or month, you can simply search for the recipes you want and click to add to the day you need in your meal plan. Then you have the option to add all the necessary ingredients (with amounts needed) to a shopping list. Some of those things you will likely already have, but you can scan through the list and quickly uncheck the stuff you don’t need to buy.

Now you have a meal plan and know what groceries are needed to make it all. Enjoy!

Freezer Organization Tips

What is in your freezer? A freezer log can be helpful — as long as you maintain it! A dry erase board, or a laminated list of staples, or just a sheet of paper that you replace when needed…whatever works for you is key.

What’s in the package? It may be on the log, but how do you find it?

  • It’s all about see-through in my freezers. Use clear bags and containers as much as you can.
  • If not, stay on top of labeling each item before it goes in the freezer and becomes a mystery.

Where should it go? Keep like things together, and you will waste fewer food packages and spend less time searching when you need something specific.

  • Clear or wire bins to contain sets of items help so much! Small things fall through and get lost easily. Hold them together, and life will be simpler.
  • Separating types of food onto different shelves works well when you have a bigger freezer. I have lunches (individual meals) only on one narrow shelf, so it is easy for anyone to grab one and throw it in a lunch bag on the way out the door. Meat and bread and pre-packaged meals and veggies can all be grouped for easy access also.

What do you do when you have a small freezer and bins to segregate items will waste too much space?  Well, here’s a visual example. A big piece of cardboard keeps pork on one side and the chicken and fruit on the other. Pork loins take up so much space and hide what is underneath, so they go to the bottom.  One-off and small items (butter, apple butter) go in the single basket and under the basket.