Creating a kitchen chalkboard + my favorite pantry recipes

You know, sometimes I just amaze myself with what one can actually accomplish when one goes from simply staring at Pinterest projects, to actually doing them.

That was the short origin story of my latest, around-the-house, improvement-type project: a chalkboard for my kitchen pantry. And get this, guys: I was super creative and did all this using … you guessed it … chalkboard paint. I mean, no one has EVER thought of this before, right??

Wrong! But that’s OK, because even if this project was not highly creative or revolutionary, it did work! And I was able to complete the bulk of the work during an afternoon, followed by a week of waiting and touch-ups.

The time I had to find the painters tape. It was hard.

The time I had to find the painters tape. It was hard.

After The Painting, I carefully removed the painters tape, only to discover that I left the tape on too long, and it took away annoyingly large chunks of paint with it. Drat! Touch-ups were required.

After The Painting, I carefully removed the painters tape, only to discover that I left the tape on too long, and it took away annoyingly large chunks of paint with it. Drat! Touch-ups were required.

After four days of waiting for the chalkboard to set up, I was able to write on it. Success!

After four days of waiting for the chalkboard to set up, I was able to write on it. Success!

Inscribed on my new pantry chalkboard are two handy spots for us to write the food stuffs we need for the pantry + fridge, plus some of my most favorite, most frequently-used pantry recipes that I can never remember, and am thus left Googling “taco seasoning” every. time. I thought this board might be a good place keep track of those recipes, and they are! We made Asian Noodles the evening after completing this project, and hey! I didn’t have to find the recipe on Pinterest, I just looked over my shoulder into the pantry! A win for all!

I thought I’d share these lovely recipes, as they are a lifesaver. The taco seasoning and granola bar recipes are two of my favorite “staples” to make, not buy. They’re SO easy, and the ingredients are things I always have on hand, so it doesn’t make sense to buy them ever again. Plus, we eat a lot of Mexican food, and these granola bars are one of our favorite snacks to have on hand, so it’s good to have these recipes in a convenient spot.

Taco Seasoning (originally from AllRecipes.com)

  • 1 tbl chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Chewy Granola Bars (originally from My Kitchen Escapades)

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup crispy cereal
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1/4 honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together oats, cereal, and coconut. Set a small saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the honey, brown sugar, and salt. Stir and leave it alone as it comes to a boil. Once it starts to boil, leave it for 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla off the heat, then pour the mixture over the oats. Mix the ingredients until the oats are completely coated. Mix in whatever goodies you want (our favorites are just peanut butter, or peanut butter and chocolate chips).

Finally, what we call “Asian Noodles” are actually the Pioneer Woman’s Simple Sesame Noodles, and this is probably the most-made, weeknight dinner at our house. It’s SO easy and delicious, and we love making this alongside these sweet and spicy tofu nuggets, though this is good all by itself, or as a side dish to whatever asian-inspired meat dishes you so desire. Now, I always remember the ingredients I need for this recipe, but I have the hardest time remembering proportions. Not anymore!

Asian Noodles

  • 12 oz thin noodles (cooked and drained) – we use two packages of ramen
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbl sugar
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbl rice vinegar
  • 3 tbl pure sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili oil
  • 4 tbl canola oil (though I sometimes just do 2-3 tbl, as this recipe always seem to make too much “juice” for our noodles)
  • Green onions for topping (optional)

Whisk all the ingredients together, dump in your cooked noodles, and eat. Top with siracha to make it extra delicious.

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