When we have our gorgeous homes in Connecticut, all perfectly decorated and oodles of time to bake cookies all day, we can call ourselves Martha Stewart. But until then, lets impress the family with these easy kitchen tricks that make them believe we’re Susie Homemaker.
Make your own whip cream
This is seriously the simpliest thing ever. All you need is heavy cream (I like Alta Dena’s) and sugar (I prefer brown sugar). In some recipes they call for vanilla, however I don’t add because brown sugar adds a touch of warmth to the homemade whip cream.
Simply put 1 cup of heavy cream in a bowl with 1/4 brown sugar (I eyeball all the measurements) and whip with your electric hand mixer about 2-3 minutes. I use it to top pancakes, muffins, fruit…anything that could use a little whip cream love!
Have a variety of “add-ins”
I really don’t have time right now to be experimenting with a bunch of different recipes, especially when it comes to breakfast. I basically do the same recipes (like Scottish oatmeal, cream of wheat, pancakes, muffins, yogurt parfaits) and change the extras that I add in.
I have a ready supply of bananas, frozen blueberries, frozen and dehydrated strawberries, chocolate chips, carob chips, raisins, dried cranberries and shredded coconut. I’ll even change the sweetener (regular sugar, brown sugar or real maple syrup) or the milk (regular milk, heavy cream or coconut milk). Kids think they’re getting something different every week!
Store pantry food in a cute way
The pantry is a very easy place to get all cluttered. How very un-Susie Homemaker indeed. Instead, store foods in a variety of jars like glass mason jars or swing top jars like the one pictured and the clutter will look like a delightful shabby mess instead. To make it look a little more organized, try labeling your jars.
To keep food in bags fresh, I like Aunt Ruthie’s tip to use wooden clothes pins to clip bags closed. Looks very rustic and cute.
Create a coffee and tea bar
Also, keep a a few flavored syrups like vanilla, hazelnut and caramel in stock, some heavy cream (which you would have anyway because you would have made some freshly whipped cream), and some yummy chocolate drizzled biscotti (store bought, of course, but arranged ever so daintily on vintage china).
If you’re feeling extra Susie Homemaker-ish, try this hazelnut biscotti recipe from Smitten Kitchen that’s looks easy enough (well for a biscotti recipe, anyway).
Don’t do coffee? Besides having a variety of quality tea’s (I LOVE the tea’s from this tea house), have on hand extra fancy honey. Orange blossom, pumpkin blossom, lavender, blueberry, linden blossom are but a few of the varieties available. Sugar cubes are a classic but these little flowered cubes from Victorian Trading Co. are even more impressive.
Set the table
Sure it’s easy, but how often does it get done? Not often enough in my home, I’m embarrassed to admit. Even if the paper napkins and forks are haphazardly arranged (I’m training 3 year old Spanky to do it), having a set table for a meal is a simple way to look like Susie Homemaker. If you want to wow your family or guests even more, use cloth napkins and place mats like these cuties from Foodphyte.
Use a pitcher to serve drinks
Yet another easy thing to do that often gets over looked. Setting the carton of juice or the jug of milk on the table won’t do much for scoring points as Susie Homemaker, but using a pitcher or other fancy glass sure will! A vintage milk bottle (without chips, of course), wine or whiskey decanters, or a fruit infusion pitcher like this one are some of my favorites.
Share your easy Susie Homemaker kitchen tips in the comments below!