Why I Keep Nail Polish Remover in my Kitchen
+ Roast Broccoli & Chorizo

Roast Broccoli & Chorizo

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] A[/dropcap] bit of a crazy title for a cooking blog this week, don’t you think? I know. When I started Stonesoup, I didn’t think nail polish remover was something I’d ever be writing about.

But here we are. Another ‘never say never’ moment.

So why do I keep nail polish remover in my kitchen?

No, I haven’t started giving myself a pedicure while dinner is cooking. I’m not that good at multitasking.

The reason is I’ve finally figured out a labeling system for the jars in my pantry that works a treat.

I just write on my jars with a marker (which I also keep in the kitchen). Then when each jar gets empty, I whip out my nail polish remover and the labeling is gone in seconds.

It’s a little thing but it makes me feel so much more organized.

I also use the marker to label anything I put in the freezer. Another big winner on the organization front!


Roast Broccoli & Chorizo

Roast Broccoli & Chorizo

I hadn’t roasted broccoli for years but was inspired by a recent post from my sister on The Yellow Bench. And I’m so glad I did. Roasting broccoli like most veg, really concentrates the flavour and takes it to another level. I also love how the chorizo releases it’s spicy juices to flavour the broccoli. Soo good!

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes or so

2 heads broccoli, chopped into bite sized chunks
2 chorizo or other spicy sausages, chopped
1 lemon, halved
aioli or mayo, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).

2. Place broccoli, chorizo or sausage and lemon in a roasting pan. Drizzled with oil and sprinkle with lots of salt. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes.

3. Stir and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender and the chorizo or sausage is cooked.

4. Serve with lemon squeezed over and a bit dollop of aioli or mayo on top.

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vegetarian – skip the chorizo or replace with 2 chopped red capsicum (bell peppers) and serve with a poached egg or a dollop of goats cheese or ricotta.

vegan – replace chorizo with roasted almonds (just add at the end) and serve with hummus or tahini.

egg-free – use vegan mayo or replace with a creamy ricotta or goats cheese or hummus.

herby – serve with chopped parsley.

more veg – serve on a bed of baby spinach or wilted greens. Or add other veg to the roasting pan like carrots, red peppers, parsnip or cauliflower.

different veg – cauli, asparagus, carrots (baby or chopped), small onions, red peppers, zucchini, eggplant or sweet potato.

What about you?

Got any unusual items you keep in your kitchen? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below…

Big love,
Jules x

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  • If you’re writing on a glass jar, a “magic eraser” (that white sponge thing) works just as well at erasing permanent marker.

    Also, imagining you painting your toenails in the kitchen is a really awkward image. ;) Perhaps you meant manicure, lol?

    • Thx for the suggestion April! It’s okay… The nail polish remover travels to other locations at pedicure time :)

  • I keep a razor blade edge in the kitchen – it’s got a handle on one side for holding so the sharp side is always down. I have a glass top oven and the razor is the best for a quick scraping off of stuff that the cleaner might smear. Doesn’t scratch the surface at all because you keep the razor flat when you scrape. I also make my own candles and this works the best for getting the wax drips off the stove top too!

  • A little while back, my mom gave Crayola “window markers” to my kids as a gift. They’re water washable, non-toxic, etc, so we gave it a try. The kids loved it, but the truth is that I’m not a big fan of cleaning windows on a regular basis (or cleaning in general, I guess), so the markers didn’t get used much until… I discovered they worked like a charm on glass jars. So now I label about everything in my kitchen using my kids’ Crayola window markers – erasing the labels is a breeze, I just wipe them them off with a wet rag. A plus: I love to have colorful labels :-)

  • I too use the black marker trick in my pantry and I originally started with nail polish remover (acetone to those that don’t know what it really is – much cheaper to buy that way at the hardware store). BUT I have also discovered that almost any ‘oily’ thing such as wd-40 or vegetable oil does pretty much the same thing. And with a little elbow grease (not much) so does dish soap and a rag!

    It is without a doubt the best pantry labelling method I have found. No labels to buy and when the jar is empty I can wash it before refilling if I want without worrying about relabelling. I put the jar in the dishwasher and take another from my ‘stash’ – no worrying about changing labels or getting them off.

    • Thanks Miriam! Actually I’ve just remembered it was one of your comments in on of our cooking classes that gave me the original inspiration! Sorry I should have credited your brilliant idea! Jx

  • I use a roll of blue painter’s tape and a black marker. Just rip off the tape when the container is empty. Have gotten good about labeling all containers (and dating them).

  • I use Sharpies (permanent markers) on my jars, and the writing washes right off in the dishwasher. No need for a second step to clean them!

  • I use a marker all the time for freezer items. The one strange thing I keep in my kitchen is duct tape, which I use for holding down the corners of my pastry mat, for when I’m kneading dough or rolling out tortillas.

  • Me too with the tape and sharpie method! Either blue painter’s tape or masking tape, whichever one has been taken elsewhere by my husband or son.

  • You know those tourniquets they use when taking your blood tests? Many places will throw yours away afterwards. Instead, you ask to take it home! Pull and stretch this ‘twice around’ on a very tight jar lid, then turn it. The cover will easily come off! :)

  • A pin.
    I keep a dressmakers pin (the one with the coloured bobble on top) handy near the cooktop. We often have “egg-in-the-shell” for breakfast, and I prick the egg shells before boiling, so the egg shell doesn’t crack.

  • ive got a box cutter i use to score the fat on pork, i also keep pegs to reseal bags, and the black marker too to mark bags etc :)

  • Hi, I keep masking tape and sharpie black fine point permanent marker. I like to lable my jars/containers also. If stuff is going into the freezer I like to use the tape and gives me room to write more about the contents. I use the same pen (without tape) to label the jars/containers I use in my pantry.

  • I keep old fashioned wooden clothes pins in the kitchen to secure the tops of snack or other bags. I also keep the wide elastic bands that come on broccoli or asparagus. When I have half full bags of grains, rice or beans, I roll up the top and snap the elastic around to keep it tight and closed.

  • Masking tape and marker. Also – putty knife. Putty knife cleans the serious mess… like if you live in rentals and move somewhere with an uncleanable oven. Wish I’d bought that knife first, and skipped all the cleaning products.

  • I bought some whiteboard self-adhesive panels and put one on the freezer. When I put stuff in the freezer, which is not pre-packed, I jot down what it is and the date it went in. When I use the item I erase it from the list. I label the bags/containers too of course.
    I’ve found it quite handy. I think we all poke things in the freezer and then forget about it. I’m hoping I will waste less.

  • the tool i think it’s called.great for removing tight lids.also very good with plastic plumbing and removing the head on a brushcutter.the black marker for sandwich/freezer bags solves the prob of what the hell is this.

  • HI Jules the black marker is indispensable in my kitchen too. I don’t worry about the polish remover unless it is a plastic container -most glass containers just scrub off ok with a plastic based scourer . My own personal quirk in the kitchen would be several clothes pegs — the clip on ones not dolly ones . I use them to clip plastic bags folded over several times (ie frozen peas etc) when returning the bag to the freezer– mostly they work really well but it is much better than having frozen peas all through the freezer

  • My brother does things like pancake batter by slotting a regular fork in to a cordless drill.

    • Right Lynne… That sounds a bit hardcore for me! I don’t think my Irishman would be happy if I pinched his drill! Jx

  • Looks like we are all good at marking, erasing, storing, et al ! One odd cleaner that I discovered is using furniture polish (spray-on kind e.g. Mr Min, if you know that one) to remove sticky remaining glue once a label has been removed. I ‘saved’ a clear perspex chair with this method, when nothing else would work.

  • Another amazing recipe, thank you so much! This is the only site that accommodates me as a healthy, single 20-something and I am truly grateful. Love this recipe, keep em coming!

  • I keep needle nose pliers in my kitchen, stolen from my hubby’s tool box, to remove those pesky little bones from fish fillets. Works beautifully!

  • Just made the chorizo & broccoli for dinner last night and it was amazing. So simple and so delicious- thanks so much!

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