Lucite Bins for my Flours, Sugars, etc.

As you tour my kitchen you’ll see I have lots of drawers. Drawers are the best for storage rather than cabinet doors with shelves. Spending the money on heavy-duty full-extension drawer glides will be a worthwhile, long-term investment.

I love bake and decided I would have my baking station right on my long island. I pull out this drawer, place my mixer or food processor on top of the counter, and almost all my baking needs are at hand. You can see I have baking powder and baking soda along with vanilla and confectioners’ sugar tucked alongside my bins. These bins hold about 8 pounds of flour, so a 5-pound bag leaves plenty of room to tuck in a measuring scoop.

I had these bins custom made in Portland. These nestle in, side-by-side, and have flat lids with an open hole just big enough for me to lift the lid with my index finger.


The Organized Drawers

With my large number of tools, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and small glass measures (perfect for measuring all those Asian sauce ingredients), I had my cabinetmakers build slots into my drawers to separate this from that. As you can see I need it! A place like The Container Store has expandable kitchen drawer organizers, but while the drawers were being made, this was an economical solution, plus I could customize the length of my tools. Yes, I even measured my peelers and ice cream scoops to maximize all the space I had.


Storing Bowls and Liquid Measuring Cups

Look at all the nesting cups and bowls. Can I stuff a drawer full or what! These drawers are deep enough to hold stacked 1- 2-and 4-cup glass measuring cups along with a lots of stainless-steel measuring bowls. Head to a restaurant-supply store for these types of bowls–They have every size imaginable, they are inexpensive and incredibly durable. I also have a set of 10 nesting glass measuring bowls. These are my absolute favorite when I have to warm or melt something in the microwave.


Consider Deep-Deep Drawers for Electric Appliances

Here’s another instance where I want my kitchen appliances tucked away.

I have two drawers like this side-by-side. I designed these to be heavy-duty enough to hold my KitchenAid mixerKitchenAid food processorKitchenAid minichop along with the extra bowls and attachments. The other drawer holds my blender, juicer, rice cooker, waffle iron, etc.


First off, if you want spices to be fresh, store them away from heat and light. In addition, “red spices” will keep longer and best if stored in the refrigerator. So, move your cayenne pepper, red chili flakes, sweet Hungarian paprikahot Hungarian paprika, ground chipotle pepper, and and chili powder to a shelf on the door of your refrigerator.

Now on to storage organization! When I was planning my kitchen remodel I made sure my spice drawers were deep enough (but not too deep as to waste space) to accommodate these readymade inserts. While my cabinet makers suggested a custom spice drawer with wood dividers, I was happy to save money and buy these spice drawer organizers.  Here is another variation on a spice drawer insert: these plastic drawer inserts orient the spices facing towards you as you open the drawer. As you can see from the picture, mine orient sideways which is optimal for my kitchen configuration. Because my drawers are extra deep, I bought 2 sets for each drawer and trimmed them to fit in place.


Several years ago, my husband, Greg, and I went on a small group culinary tour of India organized by my dear colleague and cookbook author Suneeta Vaswani. We traveled through parts of Northern Indian, visiting New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and then headed south to Kerala visiting the backwaters, as well as the mountainous region of Periyar where the tropical evergreen forests and spice plantations grow pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves as well as tea and coffee. In the town of Kumily is a beyond-fabulous spice shop called, Red Frog. A certificate on the wall confirms that every spice and tea sold in the shop is grown on a local organic farm. The shop also has beautiful antiques, including spice boxes. The owner took us across the street and down to a dusty basement room where he stored more spice boxes. Like a kid in a candy shop, I was overwhelmed and excited. We shipped home spices plus four boxes (two were gifts). I cleaned the box, buffed it, and oiled it with mineral oil. As you can see, it holds my whole spices and is a constant reminder of our extraordinary travels in India.