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30 September 2014

Buy in Bulk


Want to buy in bulk but always see your savings go into the trash when you can't get all the produce used up in time?  Or maybe you're one of those who plants a garden and then finds yourself with more bounty than you can consume or give away?

If so, keep in mind that you can freeze carrots, onions, peppers, celery, okra and other hardy vegetables.  Simply cut the vegetables down to the desired size (freezing whole is not recommended), spread in a single layer on baking sheets and freeze until solid.  Transfer the frozen vegetables to resealable plastic bags labeled with the date and store in the freezer.  When ready to use, thaw under cool water then pat dry with paper towels.

Mmm...tasty!


24 September 2014

Sayonara, Summer

Well...it's official.  Summer is over; Autumn has begun!

Time to put away the swim gear; brush the sand off your feet. Instead, find the jacket and boots, maybe the gloves and scarves, too!

P8190008_ew

23 September 2014

What's the Difference? Chicken Broth vs Chicken Stock


Chicken broth.  Chicken stock.  What's the difference?  And can you use them interchangeably?

If you're making homemade versions, there's a difference - chicken stock starts with more bones, chicken broth starts with more meat.  The bones make the stock richer and possibly a darker color if the ones were roasted before using.

But, when you buy in the store, there may not be much of a difference between stock or broth.  Your best bet is to try different brands.  

When utilizing the two in recipes, choose a mild tasting broth for soup, rice, and potato dishes; opt for a richer, more assertive stock in sauces and gravies.

Mmm...tasty!


19 September 2014

Hotsy-Totsy

Roaring 20s/Gatsby themed cakes have been popular for a while now, but up until recently I hadn't had a chance to create any.  These two birthday cakes remedied that!

A flapper theme for her.

P8090126_cew

16 September 2014

Vegetables: Fresh v Frozen


So, which are better and more nutritious- fresh or frozen vegetables?

This may surprise you, but frozen vegetables can often contain even more nutrients than fresh, especially if the fresh veggies have been sitting in your fridge or at the grocery for a few days.  Freezing locks in nutrients before they start to deteriorate, keeping the vegetables at their peak.

"Better" is an interpretative term; after all it's hard to beat the taste of fresh picked produce!  The ideal way to get the best and most benefits from fresh vegetables is to buy local and produce that is in season.  If you aren't sure what's in season in your area, you can find seasonal food guides over at Eat Well Guide.

In short, frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh, just-picked produce, so don't pass them up!

Mmm...tasty!

13 September 2014

Snickerdoodle Blondies

I love snickerdoodle cookies.  But, for some reason I don't make them very often...it's a shame really.  After all, how can that love be true if I'm more often than not whipping up chocolate chip cookies?  The snickerdoodles probably think I'm cheating on them; maybe that's why they don't appear in my kitchen very often...

I know what you're thinking - the title says "blondies" which are not cookies at all, so why is she telling me about cookies?  Well, I thought you might enjoy a little background on what drew me to try this recipe out.  But, umm, how about we just move on to the recipe, eh?

10 September 2014

Monikers

I see lots of names and plenty of different spellings of the same pronunciation with this little hobby of mine.  And, I live in fear (okay, maybe not FEAR, but constant concern) of misspelling some one's handle.  If you ever order a cake from me, and I verify the spelling 5 or 6 times, just roll with it.  It's what I do.

09 September 2014

Let's Sweat


What in the world does it mean when a recipe says to "sweat" vegetables?  Should you take them for a few laps around the kitchen?  Nope...no need to run laps around your kitchen; at least, not when it comes sweating vegetables.  

To "sweat" vegetables means to cook them over low to medium heat so they release some of their juices without browning (i.e. sweat!).  You'll often encounter this cooking instruction when making soups, stews, or sauces - onions and other aromatic vegetables are often sweated to release more flavor.

Be sure to stir the vegetables frequently and adjust the heat to prevent browning.  Also, make sure you have enough butter or oil in the pan to keep the veggies from getting dry.

Mmm...tasty!


02 September 2014

Microwave Magic: Corn on the Cob


I've been eating corn on the cob for years.  Love the stuff!  What I don't love?  Standing over a pot of water, waiting on it to boil - it takes forever for only a few minutes of cook time.  Plus, unless I'm cooking a mess of ears, boiling seems like a lot of labor and waste.

The solution?  Microwave those babies!  I can have up to 4 ears of corn ready to eat in mere minutes; here's how to do it:
  • Place 1 to 4 ears of corn in the microwave (leave the husks on!).
  • Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave and the number of ears you are cooking.
  • Allow to cool before serving.  Leave the corn in the husks until ready to serve, this will help retain heat/keep them warm.
When you are ready to shuck the corn, try trimming off the bottom of cob, then pull the ear of corn free of the husk (and silk).  You may need to use a kitchen towel to hold the silk and husk, as it may still be warm.

Alternatively, shuck per your usual method.

Mmm...tasty!