Blog Archives for category Kitchen Tips
I really can’t think of a single vegetable that isn’t more delicious when roasted. Ok, I didn’t think about that very hard, so I’m sure there’s at least one out there, but roasting is a great trick to have up your sleeve to feed your herbivorous side. Here’s how to roast vegetables: Preheat the oven. Cut up the food. Drizzle olive oil over it and season with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet. Cook, flipping once. Doesn’t get much easier, hey? Here are my Top Ten I Heart Roasted Vegetables tips for success.
Macarons are a neat cookie to add to your recipe box because they look tricky, and they come in myraid flavor combination, so it’s fun to experiment and make some really unique cookies. Add in some powder or gel food coloring, and you’ll have cute little cookies lined up on your own kitchen counter.
When we were little and in Capital “B” Big trouble, the big gun was called in for disciplinary purposes. The Capital “B” Big gun was my Dad. He’d come in from a long (long) day out in the barn, and really, the last thing he had was the mental energy to deal with my brother and I bickering over back car seat territory or my (alleged) smart mouth. Poor SUE!, at her witt’s end, she’d send us to sit on the hope chest at the end of my parents bed, and wait for him to come in for dinner and deal with us. I found myself sitting on that hope chest frequently.
But it brings up a good point, and one that people ask me about all the time: how do you get to that culinary zen where you don’t need to follow a recipe, and you can just wing it? Well, it’s not something you learn overnight, that’s for sure. But there are a few things you can do to tweak a recipe into a winner, salvage a broken dish, or anticipate what’s going to work and what’s not:
Now before you get all bent out of shape and protest to drinking spinach or kale at 7:00 in the morning, let me make one, very bold statement. I promise you, you will not taste it. Seriously. I’m telling you, I have no idea how it works, but somehow the spinach is cancelled out and it is all nutritional goodness and no vegetable taste. I love sneaking leafy greens in all sorts of food, because who doesn’t need more kale? But this spinach-in-the-smoothie is one pretty legit trick.
Dinner Party Rock Star: Fish en Papillote – Maple Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy and Mustard Mashed Potatoes
Fish en papillote is a method of steaming fish in a parchment envelope. (“En papillote” means “in parchment” in french. Bonus points, now you’re throwing a FRENCH dinner party!) There are myriad reasons why this method is amazing, from juicy, succulent fish, to flavorful veggies, to a show-stopper table presentation that includes theatrical unwrapping of your own personal envelope of deliciousness.
But I stand by my assertion that once you cut up a raw chicken, everything else is a cake walk. We butchered, roasted, seared, sautéed, pan roasted, braised, and carved a whole chicken, then had a lovely little Atkins-friendly dinner party with our beaus. I pulled together this list for our meat-extravaganza, and maybe it has a tip or two in it that you might find useful. So, without further adieu, here are my Top 10 Tips for Perfectly-Cooked Meat…
The great thing about cake balls is that they really are quite easy to make, and they’re very hands-on (read: messy) so super fun to make with kiddos. You can use little tiny cookie cutters to make shaped pops, or just roll them in your hands and rekindle your good old play-doh days. The simplest of cake balls use a box of cake mix, a container of frosting, and some chocolate. You don’t even have to bake the cake from scratch! And believe me, they are addictive in this most generic rendition. But any fluffy, light cake recipe will work.