Refrigeration in a Tiny House

I’m back with a video on refrigeration in a tiny house – or in any dwelling that happens to have wheels.  Any time you can unplug your house, that includes unplugging your fridge.  So it may require just a little extra consideration when moving your tiny haven-home around the county or the country.

There’s a little sneak peek of me and the Tiny House Foodie kitchen a few months back before we removed the big monster energy-suck fridge and gave the place a much needed makeover.  It looks better now, don’t you agree?  And the color of my hair is always changing, so you will always be able to tell when I mix up new and old footage!  lol!

fdcd503e4785febee7dee3a6e1bc3d95Keeping foods out of the danger zone in your tiny house is really important so that you don’t get sick.  This applies to cooked foods and proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy products.  Most other things (aside from a thousand and one plastic salad dressing bottles) don’t require refrigeration – aside from beer and white wine, obvs.

Have you noticed how many tiny house folks are vegan or vegetarian?  I have.  It really is so much easier when traveling especially, to keep those things to a minimum so that you don’t end up throwing away expensive products when you don’t know how long they’ve been in the danger zone, and also so that your health isn’t at risk.  Have you ever looked at a piece of meat and wondered if it is ok or not?  Chances are, it’s fine.  But nobody wants to be wrong about that!

And when you are… that’s when my little friend Digize comes to the rescue!  There have been a number of times when I could tell I was eating something that was not cooked properly, but I didn’t want to offend the host and hostess.  Sometimes you can tell when you bite into a nut or seed that they’ve gone off and the oils are rancid – stop eating immediately!  I’ve even been served some fish that had an ever-so-slight smell… you know the one.  And again… I knew it wasn’t going to sit well, but I did what you do when you love the cook and his or her good intentions.  Sometimes the food doesn’t have to be off for my stomach to freak out over it, just a different cook in a different kitchen with a different set of bacteria.  So I keep a bottle of Digize with me, ESPECIALLY when I’m traveling!  It’s a blend of essential oils formulated for digestive support for those moments when something you ate just wasn’t… right.  More info on the Digize blend of essential oils at Anoint-Ed.com.

In addition, while we are on the topic of cold storage and happy digestion, here’s a handy little chart for cooking various proteins so you get it “done” without turning it into something slightly more flavorful than the neighbor’s driveway. Meat-Temperature-GuideAs always – rules are made to be broken.  Sushi is our very favorite thing and there is a place we love to visit where the Sushi chef has become a friend of ours and he always makes something special and sends it over to our table.  I never know exactly what every component is, I just know the colors, flavors, and textures are divine!  It’s so much fun to see someone who enjoys making food for the flavor and the art of it.IMG_20170312_123415130 I hope you learned something today that will help you as you transition into tiny house living.  Thanks for visiting my blog, I appreciate it.  Stay safe out there and know which risks are worth taking, and keep a bottle of Digize close wherever you roam. 29c45-1a2bcarmen

 

Creativity & Adaptability in Tiny House Living

larger cake photoWelcome to this week’s video on creating great food in small kitchens, I’m delighted that you’ve joined me again!  This week I faced an interesting challenge.  I wanted to make a wedding cake as I have so many times in the past… only I downsized my cake pans and no longer have the professional kitchen to work in!  So how do I make a great cake without all the stuff I think I “NEED!”?  The truth is, what we think we need is often determined by what we are used to having – not on some authentic understanding of NEED.  As soon as you change what you’re used to, that will change what you need.  So going tiny is one of the best ways to find the liberation of not needing so much stuff!

IMG_20171105_122533692Then you get in the middle of a potentially frustrating situation when you no longer have the STUFF… what then?  I no longer have cake pans, so I could either borrow some (which I did) or rent some (it’s an option for some things) or I could find a different and creative approach.  In this case, I baked thin layers of cake on large sheet pans and then trimmed them to the sizes I wanted.  It was lots easier and there are no big pans to store in my Tiny House Foodie kitchen (or my actual 125 square foot tiny house for that matter).  This is just an example of how you can find creative solutions to whatever situations come up in your tiny haven home.  Simply get intentional about being creative and adaptable, and you’ll be fine.

Where there’s a will… there’s a way.

I promise.

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Oh, did you happen to notice in the video where I used Lemon Vitality Essential Oil from Young Living to flavor the icing?  Seriously, that lemon buttercream was the BEST PART of the cake!  If you’re interested in learning more about that and the other Young Living products I use in my tiny home and in the Tiny House Foodie kitchen check out one of my other projects: Anoint-Ed.com.  Good things are happening over there and if you love simplicity, wellness, and value like I do… then you should pop on over and have a look around!  XOXO

Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree

I’m back from the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree in Arlington, Texas, and I had a great time!  I met so many interesting people and I think my speech went ok.  It was such a great adventure and now I want to go to ALL the tiny house festivals!  lol!  Ok, maybe not all of them (yes, all of them).  I am very happy to be back home and do a little introverting!  lol!

Derek DiedricksenI made it to the hotel without any problems and got on the elevator and there was Derek Diedricksen standing there, and he was very charming and funny.  He’s the author of Microshelters: 59 Creative Cabins, Tiny Houses, Tree Houses, and other small structures and I’m sure it’s as witty as he is.

Later I met Jay Shafer, and that was pretty amazing.Jay Shafer  He’s a gentle soul and is the father of the Tiny House movement.  His book, The Small House Book really rocked my world when I read it back in 2011 (it came out in 2010) and I loved his focus on beauty, simplicity, and quality.  All of that totally resonated with me and clearly it resonated with a lot of other folks as well – because look around – the tiny house movement is HERE!  (And it rocks!)

Then I stumbled across Susan Schaefer Bernardo (poet) and Courtney Fletcher (artist) who created The Big Adventures of Tiny House which is the most charming children’s book ever created (except for the other ones they’ve created) and these women were also just as lovely as you’d expect them to be given all the wonder and charm of the books they create.  PLUS they introduced me to the couple who own the tiny haven-home that the tiny house in the book is based on (visually).  What a pleasure it was to meet all of them!  And why didn’t I get a photo?!

Dee Williams

Don’t you love the face she made?  Hilarious!

I was getting pretty bummed by Sunday when it appeared that I was going to catch my flight home without meeting Dee Williams.  I read her book The Big Tiny: A Built-it-Myself Memoir and let me tell you, this woman is fierce!  I reviewed her book on my other blog a while back.  Let’s just say I am a fan!  (I am!)  I knew I would be at the airport when she and Jay Shafer were on the main stage, but that morning when I was wondering around hoping to soak up the last bit of tiny house goodness, I stumbled into her session in one of the smaller side rooms and let me tell you… and that quickly became one of the highlights of the event for me.  Hearing her speak and watching her engage with the audience was such a respectful and life affirming time, I HATED having to scoot out early to go catch my plane.  Still, I was so glad I had been there to catch some of it.  She asked the questions: 1) who/what do you love? 2) how do you want to spend your time? 3) what do you want to have in your hands as you die? (People/stuff) and then I watched as the audience participated with her by telling their own stories.  There was sacred space in that room.

It was also great fun to visit the tiny houses, skoolies, vans, and other creative dwellings around the property, especially the DIY homes, and ask the home owners how their food habits have changed since they started to live tiny.  It was fun to hear that their answers are the same as ours so I think my book is very much on target to help other folks walk through this transition.

If there is going to be a tiny house festival near you – GO! Even if you have to make a real trip out of it.  It was so much fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Is the Food Processor really a Time Saving Device?

Good morning Tiny House people, thanks for joining me today.  I want to share with you my epic battle with the Food Processor.  I was curious – is a Food Processor really a time saving device?  The process of finding that answer was pretty interesting, and I drew some conclusions from the experience (that are at the end of this video).  Let me know what you think.  I was surprised to find that many of my friends were already on team #knifeandcuttingboard.  Maybe fewer folks use these space-hogging machines than I realized.  Are you going tiny?  Will you take your food processor with you to your tiny home?  Why or why not?  Let me know in the comments.

IMG_2487What did I do with all those chopped carrots, celery, and onion?  I bought a great big organic chicken and made chicken soup with all of it.  Yum!

The New & Improved Tiny House Foodie Kitchen!

THFK South West

I’m very pleased to share with you the progress we’ve made on the Tiny House Foodie Kitchen.  This little kitchen is 88 square feet and has plenty of room for everything we need and lots more.  (Our tiny house is only 125 square feet – just to give you a feel for the kitchen we’re accustomed to – this one feels HUGE!)

THFK Northeast

I am looking forward to sharing with you lots of foodie strategies for living and cooking in a small kitchen, and the Tiny House Foodie kitchen has room for me AND the camera, AND YOU as my guests via YouTube.com.  More of that on Thursday as I begin Season One of the Tiny House Foodie channel on YouTube, so stick around.  All kinds of cool things are planned for this website!

THFK SouthEast

I’ve got a video series of ways to downsize your kitchen coming, plus my BOOK is coming out soon soon soon!  Plus, this month on Twitter I’m sharing foodie quotes that I’ve found inspirational and I think you might enjoy them as well, so pop over there and follow me @CarmenShenk and all the Tiny House Foodie goodness @TinyHouseFoodie.  Also, don’t forget to join the Tiny House Foodie group on Facebook where we’ll be sharing inspiration and videos and so much more!

Oct 2

Traveling Foodie

We are having a fantastic time in California and are looking forward to the event on the RMS Queen Mary where my recipe will be demonstrated before a crowd by the Chef of the Queen Mary, along from a recipe from her sailing days.  This is part of a book event featuring my dear friend, Patricia V. Davis.The fun is the 6th but we are already here soaking in sunshine, delicious California produce, and unwinding a bit.

We are enjoying the hospitality of a lovely AirBNB host.  We walked to the market this morning for a few groceries and walked back.  We asked our host if it would be ok to cook in her kitchen and she readily agreed.  My Austrian cracked open a beautiful fresh coconut and we drank the refreshing juice and munched on coconut as I whipped up some yummy omlettes.  We have plenty for a few meals even though we will eat out and enjoy the local cuisine.  We had a delicious Mexican meal yesterday along with some seafood, and we haven’t been hungry enough today to budge from our comfy spot here on the porch.


We are having a lovely time!  Yum!!  Enjoy the journey!  -Carmen

Welcome to my Kitchen!


Hello everyone, I’m happy to finally post my first video in the series on how we transformed this small kitchen.  Soon I’ll be full tilt into sharing my favorite recipes with you, but first we need to finish that kitchen!

I’ve lived in a tiny house on wheels of 125 square feet since September 2014 and we really love it.  As a retired restaurant owner used to having tons of space and gear, it took me a while to get used to cooking in such a small space.  If you’re making the transition from a large kitchen to a small one, I can help!  It might not be a comfortable transition, but it isn’t the end of the world.  You’ll still enjoy marvelous food!

I’ll show you how to cook like a chef, even if you kitchen is very small.

The Tiny House Foodie Kitchen

I enjoying taking some time over the holiday weekend to make some progress on my tiny house kitchen.  I’ve removed the doors and painted the upper cabinets and the window and it is a vast improvement.  THF Kitchen Progress 1

Soon all the base cabinets will come out and we will be installing small fridges and new kitchen cabinets below.  I can’t wait to show you the green oak kitchen cabinets, I think they’re lovely!  THF Kitchen progress 2

The plan also includes some salvaged Carrara marble that went through a house fire.  It remains to be seen if we can get enough of the smoke/water/fire stains out to make it salvageable for a counter top.  We shall see.  Finally, I have some beautiful tile for the back splash.  I’m really excited about seeing this cute little kitchen come together so that I can share lots of great food with you.

Are you building a tiny house or do you currently live in a tiny house?  Post photos of your tiny house kitchen and the food you make there on the Tiny House Foodie Group page on Facebook.  I’m totally looking forward to meeting all of you that are following along and seeing what food we create together.  If there is one thing I know, it is that Tiny House Folks are incredibly creative and resourceful and I can’t wait to see your kitchen and hear all about your favorite dishes.  Let me know what challenges you’re facing with your tiny space and that way I will know how to add value to these video sessions for all of you.  See you in the Interwebs!  =)

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Tiny House Kitchen

I am looking forward to sharing my stack of recipes with all of you.  However, we are in the middle of a kitchen renovation.  I’ve been collecting goodies left and right for this new kitchen and I can’t wait to share the space and my recipes with all of you.  I must admit, I’m impatient to get started.  So while I get busy shopping, painting, and bugging the installers, I’m also making lots of lists of great recipes to share with you.   It’ll be great.  I’m stoked.  Meanwhile, contact me with your Tiny House Foodie questions.  I may have paint all over me, but I’m here.  Peace.