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Let’s answer some google searches!

On the dashboard of my blog, I have a little app that shows me some of the recent search phrases that are leading people to my blog. Sometimes there are terrible misspellings, and those always make me laugh because I know I’ve searched/texted things like that, hoping that auto-correct will save me.

Here’s a recent example from a text conversation with Sonia, where I’m in blue:

screenshot of text convo.


I was looking at a grouping of these terms the other day and I thought it would be fun to answer them in a blog post.

See below!


Let’s just start from the top!

how to keep kitchen dish-free

The most foolproof way to do this: never cook or eat at home.

If no one ever eats food at your house, you will never have dirty dishes.

Boom! Problem solved.

If you want to eat at home, though, I have bad news: you will probably always have some dishes in your kitchen.

Dirty ones, even.

messy counter.

And this is even more true if you want to cook in your kitchen.

Now, if you google, “How to keep dishes from taking over your kitchen”, my advice is as follows.

1. Run your dishwasher every night, regardless of how full it is

Dishwashers are extremely energy-efficient, and running even a partially full dishwasher does not waste much energy. Just push the button and trust the experts.

Do not wait until it’s full; that’s gonna throw off your routine. Just run it at night. Every night.

Kitchen-aid dishwasher

2. Empty your dishwasher every morning

Dishwasher-emptying actually takes less than ten minutes; for us, it’s more like five minutes because it’s just two of us here.

If you empty it right away, then it’s available for dirty dishes all day long.

Which leads me to….

3. Put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher throughout the day

And have your household members do the same. If the dishwasher is empty, there’s no excuse for piling the dishes on the counter or leaving them in the sink.

Scrape ’em and throw them in the dishwasher.

stasher bag in dishwasher rack

4. Clean up after dinner

I almost never go to bed without at least throwing the dishwasher-safe dinner dishes in the dishwasher and pressing start. On a really busy night, my hand-washed dishes sometimes wait overnight.

But I run the dishwasher without fail!

5. Do your hand-washed dishes at the end of the day

I have some things I don’t put in the dishwasher (wooden-handled knives, sharp knives, cast-iron pans, etc.) and I generally let those pile up during the day until I hand-wash them at night after dinner.

kitchen counter.

And that’s how I keep dishes from taking over my kitchen.

Do they pile up sometimes, especially when I’m cooking dinner? Yes!

But the nightly dishwasher-running/hand-washing takes care of them, and then I have a fresh reset. And for me, that’s what is key: a routine habit.

If you only run the dishwasher when it’s full, then you end up emptying it at odd times, and then family members never know when the dishwasher will be empty, and they have an excuse not to load their dishes as they go.

So I’m hard-core on team RUN THE DISHWASHER EVERY NIGHT.

(If you have a different system that works great, ignore my advice. And if you don’t have a dishwasher, ignore my advice.)

Edit: a reader comment reminded me that another key is: own fewer dishes. If you only own 8 mugs, your pile of dirty cereal bowls can only consist of 8 mugs at the worst.

If you own 27 mugs, though, your dirty mug pile can be tremendous before you are forced to do dishes.

a dirty kitchen full of dishes.

The abandoned house owner most definitely had too many mugs. 😉

hot fudge pudding cake

This one is easy!

Click here for the hot fudge pudding cake recipe.

This is a weird cake; you make a batter, spread it in a pan, sprinkle sugar on top, and then pour hot water over the whole thing.

hot fudge pudding cake

But as it bakes, the cake rises to the top, and a pudding layer forms on the bottom.

It’s best right out of the oven, with some vanilla ice cream.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

And I also happen to think it’s best when you make it with dark chocolate cocoa powder.

how to bless (a) person

I’m guessing this set of words brought someone to my blog because I have a post titled, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to bless someone else”.

chocolate cupcakes in a tin.

Beyond that, I’d say…

Blessing someone is very individual

Treatment that is a blessing to one person might feel like a curse to another!

For example, an extrovert might be very happy if you planned a surprise get-together, whereas an introvert might be horrified at that prospect.

Study the person to come up with ideas

If you pay attention to a person, you can usually figure out some things to try.

And as you try things, you can take mental notes about what makes them tick and what doesn’t.

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Egg Bread Story Poster Image

I have found that cinnamon bread blesses most people, as long as they’re not gluten-intolerant

Ask the person what they’d like

I know it feels a little more fun to come up with an idea by observation, but since none of us is a mind-reader, sometimes it IS best to ask someone how you could best bless them.

By the same token, you could ask them what they don’t like.

If your character is good, you will probably manage to bless your person

If you are googling “How to bless a person”, I’m guessing your heart is unselfish and kind, and so I have lots of faith that your efforts will be fruitful.

Selfish, unkind people do “nice” things in order to get praise or attention. They give what THEY think the other person should like. They aren’t respectful of other people’s wishes.

And they don’t google, “how to bless a person”. 😉

There are a lot of inexpensive ways to bless someone

For example, you could:

  • offer practical help
  • drop a meal off
  • bake a treat
  • run an errand for the person
  • send an encouraging note/text
  • buy a little gift that made you think of that person
  • mail a note or card (bonus points if you use dip-dyed stationery!)

Related: 10 Ways to Bless Someone Without Spending a Lot  (which I wrote during my first marital separation, in 2018)

whole wheat quick bread no yeast

This is a result of a recipe that I posted eons ago: No-Yeast, No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread.

whole wheat bread, sliced.

It’s a quick bread (like banana bread or cranberry bread), but it’s got whole grains in it, and it’s not as sweet as most quick breads.

quick whole wheat bread

So in a pinch, it works for sandwiches and toast and such.

Is it as tasty as yeasted whole wheat bread? NO.

whole wheat bread

The yeasty variety!

But if you need a quick loaf, then this recipe is handy to have around.


How would you answer these google searches?

(Especially the ones about dishes and about blessing people!)

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Sunday 19th of November 2023

A belated comment but thank you for this post. It was me searching for the hot fudge chocolate pudding recipe. Thank you! I'm very happy to have that treat in my life.

Anita Isaac

Friday 3rd of November 2023

guess what? i don't have a dishwasher and i have a tiny kitchen. i wash everything by hand after i have used them. i dry them and put them away. i never ever have a pile up i grew up in a horrible mess and i never want to live like that again.


Wednesday 1st of November 2023

My husband does the dishes most of the time. I’ve always felt like we had to have the dishwasher full, but he’d love it if it were run every night. There may possibly be a change in our routine.

When I was single with 2 children and in grad school, I really had to be frugal. I didn’t have a dishwasher, so the three of us took turns, one right after the other. I also didn’t have a dryer and this was in a very wintery climate. A good friend used to bless me on gift-giving occasions with a stack of paper plates, gift coupons to McDonalds, and always offered her dryer if I was coming over so I could dry a load of towels. When the end of the term came due, those paper plates were a blessing. And, at the time the $10.00 worth of McD’s coupons could get the three of us a fun meal, which was a treat.

One way I save on dirty dishes is to challenge myself to read through a recipe and decide the fewest number of measuring cups and spoons I can use and in which order to use them so that I go from dry to wet. Good times!

Fru-gal Lisa

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Thanks for reminding folks to ask what the person needs before trying to bless them. It is possible you just don't "get" it, and this can cause a lot of problems.

I have seldom been so upset as the time when a well-meaning church group called and said they were going to give me a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.

I immediately said, "No you're not!"

Lightbulb moment: those church people had absolutely no empathy, sympathy, or knowledge about helping childless, never-married women. And it appeared they didn't want to learn.

What's wrong with bringing over the turkey dinner, you ask?

First, I had no family or anyone to share a meal with. (To make it even worse, this was a last-minute surprise....and everyone I knew already had plans. Not that I'd want them to give up their family celebrations for me.)

Second, I was looking forward to a very quiet day of just relaxing at home and doing nothing more strenuous than laundry and binge-watching a TV show. Over the years, I have been to many other peoples' family celebrations, and I cannot help but feel I don't fit in, no matter how much these sweet people try to make me feel welcome. It is a terrible effort to make small talk to total strangers knowing I will never see your other guests again and it's a very empty feeling to go through this. I appreciate your well-meaning efforts, but please don't put me through it all again.

Third, I had no oven in which to bake the turkey. The 1964 built-in oven quit eons ago, and it is too expensive to replace. And slaving over a hot stove is not my idea of fun.

Fourth, I HATE turkey dinner leftovers, and that's exactly what would happen. (My mom and grandma always seemed to think we'd need 75-lb. turkey for 4 people, 3 of whom were dieting, and we'd be eating that nasty leftover meat until Xmas, when it'd all start over again with another turkey.) With me a lone, I'd be eating turkey, dressing and all the trimmings until Valentine's Day, no doubt. Yuck. Or I can feed it to the dog. Doggy will like it, but it's not good for her.

And lastly, how dare them! Just because I drove a 10-year-old car and prefer a frugal lifestyle, that does not mean people have the right to judge me by their (spendthrift) standards. (BTW, Church Lady, I paid off my mortgage -- what about yours? Oh, I see, you have more important things to do with your money, like getting manicures and going out to happy hour.)

I was shocked they thought I needed their handouts or pity. I actually had to argue with the committee chairwoman so she wouldn't bring the crap over. How dare she assume she knew what was best for me!

It was the most unwelcome surprise ever -- and I never renewed my membership commitment to that church. Glad I found another congregation that actually has a lot of singles in it.

Heidi Louise

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Interesting basis for a post! My Mom liked doing dishes by hand, she said, because she could watch the birds at the feeder outside. In her later years, the warm water felt good on her hands. My in-laws essentially washed dishes by hand, with soap, before putting them in the dishwasher. Drove me crazy.

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