Get Organized with Tidy Living

The winter season offers great opportunity to organize your home and do a little pre-Spring cleaning. I recently discovered Tidy Living, an online store showcasing a wide variety of organizational gadgets that are useful, unique, and affordable. 

Spice-coffee-mug-rack-tidy-living-cheap-gourmetI found great deals on bins, containers, and wire racks. For example, this mesh shelf is perfect for stacking spice jars, coffee mugs, and small items that clutter up cabinets. It's currently on sale for $5.

Tidy Living has a good selection of under cabinet shelves and racks, over cabinet door bins, expanding shelves, pan organizers, pot lid holders, wrap racks, broom & mop holders, shelving units and everything you can possibly need to get your kitchen in ship-shape order.

You'll also find gadgets to organize every room in  your house, garage and tool shed. They have solutions for shoe storage, wardrobe and closet storage, laundry and garment care, and one of the largest selections of clothes hangers I've ever seen. 

 If you end up loving their products, they offer a unique brand ambassador program which provides some pretty nice perks. Click here to learn more about Tidy Living and discover how to organize your home efficiently and on the cheap!



Let's Talk about Butcher Box Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished Meats

If you're looking for high quality, affordable grass-fed, grass-finished, humanely raised meats, you're going to love Butcher Box. This subscription service offers beef, poultry and pork from farms committed to sustainable practices. It's delivered straight to your door in a reusable insulated tote and enviro-friendly packaging. It's a win-win-win!

We've ordered from Butcher Box for about a year and have never been disappointed. When we signed up, they only offered a few box varieties and we didn't know what we'd receive until it arrived. Now, they have expanded options and the possibilities are nearly endless. Although a relatively new brand, they have their ducks in a row and are constantly enhancing their offerings.

Along with exceptional meat selections, customers are rewarded with free boxes when they refer three friends. I recently received a referral box filled with a variety of steaks, ground beef, chicken and bacon. I can attest it is a really sweet deal and your friends will thank you for turning them onto this deal!

Butcher Box

When you order from my affiliate link at, you'll receive $10 off your first order, plus free bacon. Simply enter the code BACONCRITIC10 at checkout. I earn a one-time commission for new sales. Click here to learn more about their affiliate program. 

Like you, I was skeptical and felt this was too expensive. Reality is, it's way more affordable than buying grass-fed meat at the store and the quality is ten times better because Butcher Box meat is also grass-finished. To me, it's comparable to eating Kobe beef. The flavor and texture is different than what you're likely used to. There's not much fat, so it's important to reduce cooking time by about one-third. I seriously over-cooked mine the first few times. Even then, the meat was delicious and tender. 

Head over to their website, take a look around and give them a try. I don't think you will be disappointed!

Butcher Box Grass-fed Grass-finished beef

Bacon, Beets and Bleu Cheese Microgreens Garden Salad



Servings: 4 Side Salads or 2 Entree Salads
Prep Time: 10 minutes


16 ounces fresh Microgreens, washed and dried
1 (15 oz) jar Pickled Beets, drained and thinly sliced
1/4 cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Bleu Cheese crumbles
6 slices cooked Bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup Walnut or Pecan pieces, optional
1/2 cup of your favorite Salad Dressing


1. Layer salad greens on a serving platter or individual plates.
2. Top with pickled beets, red onion, bleu cheese, bacon, nuts and dressing. 
3. Serve immediately.

NOTE: If preparing salad in advance, forego adding dressing until ready to serve. 

Loaded Bacon Bloody Mary

Loaded-bacon-bloody-mary-the-cheap-gourmetYield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes


2 ounces bacon infused Vodka
8 ounces Tomato Juice
1/8 teaspoon each of celery salt (try Bacon Salt), freshly ground pink Himalayan salt and black pepper
3-4 dashes each of Worcestershire and Hot Sauce (try Bacon Hot Sauce)  
2 large Green Olives​1 slice Lime
1 slice Bacon, cooked crisp


1. Fill 16-ounce glass halfway with ice cubes.
2. Pour vodka over ice.
3. Add tomato juice and seasonings. Stir to combine.
4. Garnish with olives, lime and bacon or any of your favorite condiments.

Cinco de Mayo Recipes to Satisfy Everyone's Chile Spice Preferences

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5th within certain regions of Mexico and the United States. Festivities include showcasing Mexican foods and beverages, music and dancing, parades, concerts, and celebration of Mexican culture and traditions.

The following Cinco de Mayo recipes embrace traditional Mexican fare with a hint of American flavor. These Mexican food recipes are easy to prepare and can be adapted to suit your taste buds and spice tolerance. Not only are these spiced-up recipes great for Cinco de Mayo parties, they are tasty any time of the year!

Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped (1/2 for soup and 1/2 for meatballs)
4 cups Water
2 tablespoons fresh Cilantro, stems removed and loosely chopped
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 16-ounce can diced Green Chiles
2 medium Tomatoes, diced

½ pound Ground Round Beef
½ pound Chorizo Sausage
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper


1. Add olive oil to 4-quart saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add one-half of chopped onions. Stir frequently and cook until onion is translucent.
2. Add four cups water, along with cilantro, oregano, green chiles and tomatoes. Bring to a boil for 10 -12 minutes. Stir frequently.

To Prepare Meatballs:
1. In medium bowl, combine ground round, chorizo, remaining onion, garlic and oregano.
2. Blend well and roll mixture into 1-inch balls.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Carefully add to soup base and continue cooking until meatballs are done; about 30 minutes.
5. Transfer to serving bowls and serve immediately.

If desired top with shredded longhorn or cheddar cheese and serve with tortilla chips.


Serves 6
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 to 40 minutes


3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 fresh Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and minced
1 15-ounce can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can Refried Beans
1 15-ounce can Corn
1 15-ounce can diced Tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper flakes (or Cayenne Pepper)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Sour Cream, optional


3 cups Yellow Cornmeal
2 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Salt
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cups Water


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Sauté until crisp tender.
3. In medium mixing bowl, combine black beans, refried beans, corn, tomatoes, spices and sautéed vegetables. Mix well.
4. In small mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, honey, salt, olive oil and water. Mix until smooth.
5. Pour bean mixture into lightly greased 8-inch glass baking dish.
6. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of bean mixture.
7. Using a large spoon, place dollops of tamale pie topping on cheese and bean mixture. Carefully spread across the top as if icing a cake.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cornmeal topping comes out clean.
9. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes.
10. Transfer to serving dish. Top with sour cream, if desired.


Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

This Mexican food recipe has quickly become one of our family favorites. We serve it with tacos, burritos, nachos, enchiladas and quesadillas as well as a side dish served with steak. Leftover rice can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days and can easily be reheated in the microwave or stovetop. Add a tablespoon or two of water or broth to fluff it back up


2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup short grain White or Brown Rice
1 small Yellow Onion, finely diced
2 medium fresh Tomatoes, medium diced
2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed, finely diced (use 1 pepper for mild spiciness)
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 cups Beef Broth


1. Add olive oil to 4-quart saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add rice and coat each kernel in oil. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until rice is light brown (medium brown if using brown rice).
2. Add onion, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and beef broth and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is soft and all water is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and set 5 minutes.
5. Gently fluff rice with fork. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.