"Early Show" contributor Katie Lee kicked off our "Spring Awakening" series on Monday, focusing on the kitchen. She suggested the simple tips below to help you bring the most popular room in the house back to life this spring:
Part 1: Items for organization
• Wall mounted pot rack and shelf - This pot rack is a great addition to any kitchen. Installing a pot rack keeps clutter to a minimum and frees up valuable drawer and cabinet space. The convenient slatted shelf is perfect for storing lids and cookbooks.
$100 - Gracious Home
• Hanging wire spice rack - Are your spices and seasonings cluttering up your cabinets? The solution is this simple hanging spice rack. Easily installs inside any cabinet, this three tier rack keeps spices organized and readily available.
$10 - The Container Store
• Wrap and Bag organizer - This wrap and bag organizer installs easily on the inside of any cabinet.
$9 - The Container Store
• Expandable Drawer organizer - Kitchen drawers come in all different shapes and sizes. Luckily this drawer organizer expands to fit almost any size, and will keep everything in its rightful place.
$30 - Bed Bath & Beyond
• Wall mounted magnetic knife strip - Keeping sharp knives in a drawer can be dangerous, and a bulky knife block can take up valuable real estate on your counter. This wall mounted magnetic knife strip keeps all your cutlery securely attached to the wal.
$17 - Bed Bath & Beyond
Part 2: Cleaning Out Fridge and Pantry
• Spring is a great time to go through your fridge and pantry and throw away anything bad and old condiments. You should toss ketchup after six months, mayo after about two months, and mustard after about a year.
• Make it a habit to throw out leftovers after three to four days. Katie likes to make a label for the container with what it is and the date before putting it in the fridge. This is an easy way to know what you have and exactly how old it is.
• After you have cleaned and organized the fridge fill it with cut up veggies and fruits for easy and healthy snacking.
• In the pantry, throw out dry and canned goods that are past their prime: canned goods are good for about two, dried beans should be tossed after a year, pasta is good for two years, rice should be thrown out after a year, oils have a shorter shelf life at about six months, and vinegars should be discarded after five years.
• Dried herbs and spices should be thrown out after six months to a year because they lose potency. Use label maker to put the date on which it was opened.
Part 3: What to add
• Vacuum Sealer food saver - By keeping air out and sealing freshness in, this vacuum-sealing system eliminates freezer burn and keeps foods fresh and delicious up to five times longer than conventional storage methods. The countertop appliance not only keeps food fresh longer, it also helps save money -- no more having to throw away freezer-burned meat, moldy produce, or forgotten leftovers.
$80 - Amazon.com
• Toss & Chop salad scissors - Simple, safe and easy-to-use, the Toss & Chop is a unique tool designed to quickly chop salads, vegetables, fruits and much more, right in the bowl.
$20 - Bed Bath & Beyond
• Chef'n Silicone Veggie Steamer - Made from stain-resistant silicone, this fun little steamer has a rigid core for stability and a tripod base to raise your veggies above the waterline for optimal steaming. There is no exposed metal to scratch the sides or bottom of your pot. And this steamer has no center post to work around, just pile in the veggies. When you're done cooking, use the heat-resistant handles to remove the steamer and toss it in the top rack of your dishwasher.
$12 - Sur la Table
• Cuisinart Citrus Juicer - This powerful citrus juicer delivers an unlimited amount of juice directly into a container through an antidrip spout. Easy to clean, the juicer is made of hard, gleaming plastic and comes with a clear plastic dust cover to protect the juicing cone.
$30 - Gracious Home
Part 4: Décor
• Potted fresh herbs - Fresh herbs are an easy an inexpensive way to add some life to your kitchen. Pick some up from your local farmers market or garden center, place on your window sill and you'll have fresh herbs all summer long. Not only will they add some atmosphere, they add great flavor to any food.
• Island time floral juice glasses - Something as adding new glassware to your collection can really liven up your kitchen. Look for glasses with punches of color like these ones from Anthropologie.
$12 - Anthropologie
• Spring mix apron and Spring Kitchen Towel- Even just hanging up, a brightly colored apron and new kitchen towels can really brighten up the kitchen. There is no need to remodel, just add some color and you'll be surprised at the big change little touches can make.
$14-38 - Anthropologie
Part 5: Breakfast
Asparagus and Spinach Frittata
2 Tablespoons (1/4 Stick) Unsalted Butter
2 Leeks, Whites Only, Thinly Sliced
8 Large Eggs, Beaten
1 Cup Blanched Asparagus Tips
2 Cups Cooked Fresh Or Frozen Spinach, Thawed And Squeezed Of Excess Water
1∕2 Cup Fresh Basil, Chiffonaded
4 Ounces Goat Cheese, Crumbled
1∕2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1∕2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1∕4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1∕4 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and sauté about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs with the leeks, asparagus, spinach, basil, goat cheese, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Spray a 9-inch nonstick cake pan or springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the bread crumbs and shake until the bread crumbs evenly coat the pan. Pour the egg mixture into pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until solid and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes. Invert the frittata onto a plate, then flip right side up onto a serving plate or remove sides of springform pan and transfer to a serving plate. Can be served warm or at room temperature.