Erika Tracy

Erika Tracy is a work-from-home mama happily living in the South. She works as a freelance designer and photographer in Montgomery, AL.
How to Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet in 7 Quick (and Easy!) Steps
Fear not! It's actually pretty easy to get rusted cast iron cookware back to cook-ready condition!
Feb 27, 2024
How To Clean a Keurig Coffee Machine
Machines getting a lot of daily use can develop clogs that can cause the system to quit completely. Here's how to keep it running well.
Dec 15, 2023
The 4 Best Brushes, Scrubbers, and Scrapers for Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware
We seriously love all of these.
Nov 7, 2023
How to Clean and Polish Silver with Baking Soda
Whether company’s coming over or you find yourself with a few spare minutes, it’s never a bad time to think about polishing your silver for some extra shine. If your chest of flatware or julep cups are looking less than occasion-ready, worry not! This quick kitchen remedy made of simple ingredients can save you a lot of time and a big mess — and you probably already have everything you need. This simple setup isn’t too far from an elementary school science project.
Aug 15, 2023
How To Clean and Polish Copper with Just Two Ingredients
It only requires two little ingredients you already have in the pantry.
Nov 30, 2022
How To Oil Butcher Block Countertops
Here's what to do — whether you want to use a food-safe mineral oil or a butcher block conditioner.
Aug 19, 2022
Before & After: How I Figured Out the Best Way to Store My Kid’s Dishes & Utensils
Our growing collection of child-size dishes, bowls and utensils have never had a proper home. We’ve used whatever space was open and easily accessible to stash the pile of tiny things used daily for mealtime. While I’m in the process of making things work better in our kitchen overall, offering our son access and the ability to help with his colorful collection of dinnerware seemed like a bright idea.
Sep 30, 2020
The 5 Biggest Things People Get Wrong About Cast Iron Cookware
Tips from The Kitchn
It's totally fine to cook tomatoes in a cast iron skillet!
Aug 3, 2020
How To Clean Butcher Block Countertops
A quick search online for pros and cons of butcher block countertops will give a long list of pros on beauty and function, and one definite con: maintenance. It’s a forgiving surface, to say the least, since it can be sanded and oiled to be made like new, but what a project! The overall chorus, however, suggests that everyday cleaning is far easier and simpler, and doesn’t require harsh chemicals or cleaners.
Sep 4, 2019
How To Clean an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
We even cover how to clean that silicone ring that will eventually get all gross.
Sep 4, 2019
How To Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets (and the Best Cleaner for the Job)
Spot-cleaning kitchen cabinets after spills and drips is easy enough, but finding a process and product that removes the grime and grease from daily use takes patience.
Jun 6, 2019
How To Clean a Kitchen Trash Can
This is a household to-do that's easily overlooked, but it's really gotta be done!
May 30, 2019
How To Remove Grease Stains
Perfectly wonderful and pricey clothes can meet their match with one quick spill or unexpected splatter.
May 30, 2019
How To Clean a Slow Cooker
With all the ease slow cookers add to mealtime, it’s a shame these things don’t clean themselves, too. Actually, they kinda do when it comes to caked-on messes inside the pot. (See: The Most Ingenious Way to Clean a Slow Cooker Is Also the Easiest.) If you need to give a deeper clean (say, maybe after a season of boiled-over stews or kids serving themselves chili), the good news is that you probably have everything you need.
May 30, 2019
How To Clean a Stand Mixer
The flour and batter spills that come along with each use will show in time.
May 30, 2019
How Lodge Cast Iron Skillets Are Made in Tennessee
Who: Lodge Manufacturing What: Seasoned cast iron and seasoned steel cookware Where: South Pittsburg, TN Lodge Manufacturing has been in business since 1896, and they are the oldest manufacturer of cast iron cookware remaining in the United States. The company continues to make classic, long-lasting skillets and other tools in a manufacturing process honed by both age and necessity.
May 30, 2019
Recreating a Treasured Family Recipe: Grannie’s Sugar Cookies
As a child, the wonder of this season had so many highs — tours of Christmas lights, presents, delicious treats. Baking sugar cookies, perched on the fold-out stool of my Grannie’s kitchen, was something I was always delighted to do each year. Now that I’ve given up the tale of Santa Claus and embraced this season full of love for what it truly means to me, I’ve realized all that wonder was simply a time so full of traditions I had no idea had grown so dear to me.
May 1, 2019
A Menu for a Mother’s Day Picnic
Mother’s Day falls during the most beautiful time of spring, when it’s just warm enough to be outside. Why not skip the gift this year and instead spend some quality time outdoors, with a picnic lunch? A little relaxation is a simple way to pamper a mother of any age, but especially one with children still at home that keep her on the go.
May 1, 2019
The Brush Arsenal for Cleaning Your Small Appliances
If you’re using them often, whether for your morning caffeine infusion, afternoon smoothie, or daily dinner prep, kitchen appliances need a good interior and exterior clean about once a month. (Yes, that often.) These cleanings help remove buildup, reduce odors, and improve the functionality and lifespan of your everyday workhorses. And a good brush (or set of brushes) can help you get the job done with more ease and considerably less elbow grease.
May 1, 2019
The $3 IKEA Find That Makes Coffee with Nut Milk Taste Like It Has Real Milk in It
Regardless of how much caffeine your day needs, if the foam-filled portion of your brew is a priority, I have the tool for you. This inexpensive, battery-powered, and highly-reviewed (more than 2,500 people have shared their opinion on Amazon, where you will pay more for it) frother from IKEA has helped me take a warm brew from essential to enjoyable. And I’m convinced it’s the ultimate tool to convert creamer-lovers to the nut milk side. Here’s what I love about it.
May 1, 2019
What’s Your Best Advice for Eating More Vegetables?
Since we’re kicking off a new year and it’s as good a time as any to make some confessions, I have a big one: I often go days without vegetables in my diet. Now, I’m a full-fledged grownup (over 35) and a parent — and I even consider myself a moderately healthy eater. I eat minimal sweets, choose protein-heavy snacks, and shun as many added ingredients as possible. I’ve certainly come a long way from my teenage and college ways.
Jan 20, 2016
Before & After: How I Solved My Servingware Pile Problem
Last on my list in my kitchen organization project is the one deep, dark corner cabinet. We all have them and I’m guessing no one likes them, but I found a way to make mine work for my servingware collection by adding one simple (no-brainer) organization tool. My deep, dark corner cabinet has no pull-out shelves and about a 12-inch opening sandwiched between the refrigerator and stove.
Mar 26, 2015
Before & After: How I Finally Organized My Food Storage Container Drawer
Establishing a drawer just for food storage had me smitten with this deep drawer space when I first organized my home’s kitchen. Now, it’s become quite the jigsaw puzzle of containers. Finding a lid in one try happens occasionally, but getting the drawer to actually close takes a Tetris high-score skill level of container stacking.
Mar 19, 2015
Before & After: A Smart Solution for a Corner Cabinet Lazy Susan
Doing battle with kitchen storage is not on my list of things I want to do every day, or any day for that matter. A large corner-cabinet of our kitchen that is outfitted with fancy, should-be functional shelves somehow evolved into a tumbling mess of stacks. Rather than surrender the space to kitchen clutter, I decided to find a purposeful use of this space and tame our corner-cabinet madness. Clearly, not being able to turn the fancy lazy susan shelves without a crash was our biggest problem.
Mar 5, 2015
What It Takes to Produce One Jar of Peanut Butter
We know all about what is in peanut butter, but how does it get to us as consumers? You can grind your own on the spot at many grocers, but popular commercial brands still line the shelves alongside newer specialty brands. How are they made? Sorry, Virginia, but there isn’t a magical peanut butter fairy. Instead it’s a process that begins with roughly 500 runner peanuts.
Oct 30, 2014
How Peanuts Are Grown & Harvested in Alabama
Who: Carl Sanders What: Peanut farmer Where: Coffee County, Alabama Carl Sanders is one of 25,000 peanut farmers in the major producing areas of the United States. Coffee County, Alabama, is where generation after generation of his family have turned the soil year after year to harvest the sand-loving legume.
Oct 28, 2014
How To Remove Stains from Butcher Block Countertops
One good dinner party with friends and an unattended red wine stain is there to stay. Or so you'd think.
Sep 9, 2014
4 Reasons Why Southerners Do Tomatoes Better Than Anyone Else
Tomatoes grow all over the world, and they play important roles in the cuisines of many cultures (Italia, anyone?). But down in Dixie, we do summer’s favorite fruit right (yep, tomatoes are a fruit). In fact, I’m gonna argue that we do them better than most. Proving this point was a mere few swift keystrokes for my food-writer friend and big time food-appreciator, Jennifer Kornegay. This Alabama gal means it, folks.
Aug 14, 2014
What Is Factory-Seasoned Cast Iron?
Most new cast iron cookware comes with a “factory-seasoned” label, but what does that mean? Are you getting the same well-seasoned, nonstick surface that makes your grandmother’s long-used skillet such a treasure? In our tour of the Lodge cast iron factory, we discovered what the factory seasoning process is and the best ways to maintain that initial seasoning. Normal cast iron seasoning is achieved when fats and oils collect on cast iron through regular use.
Aug 13, 2014
How To Remove Grease Stains
Perfectly wonderful and pricey clothes can meet their match with one quick spill or unexpected splatter. Often small and inconspicuous, grease stains have put quite a few of my husband’s dress shirts in the “do not wear” pile. The real problem arose, however, when my own brand new, on-sale, perfectly fitting pants suddenly sported a nasty grease spot. Unacceptable.
Jul 9, 2014
How To Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet
So you made a mistake? Fear not! It's possible to get rusted cast iron cookware back to cook-ready condition!
May 6, 2014
Alicia & Adam’s Southern Victorian Kitchen
Who cooks and eats here: Adam and Alicia Whitely (and a new baby boy) Where: Montgomery, Alabama Rent or Own? Own Leftovers? Nonsense. Do-overs are an option cook Alicia Whitley rarely explores in her culinary adventures. With all the options out there, Alicia thinks diving into something new for daily meals makes perfect sense and is where she finds joy in the kitchen of her home nestled in one of Montgomery, Alabama’s oldest neighborhoods.
Nov 26, 2013
Bo and Lindsey’s Travel-Inspired Kitchen
Bo and Lindsey are right at home in the Old Cloverdale historic district of Montgomery, Alabama, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy seeing the world! Ten years ago Lindsey moved to Montgomery as part of the city’s historic preservation team and met lifetime resident Bo at a neighborhood house party.
Jun 18, 2013