Showing posts with label Kitchen Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitchen Tips. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Cook Wild Rice in the Crock Pot!



I love using wild rice in dishes like quiche, soup and pilafs. And my favorite way to cook it is in a large batch in the crock pot! You don't need to watch it, and it doesn't make the house quite as fragrant as the stove top method. (Is it just me or does wild rice give off a WEIRD smell???? Maybe that's why it's called WILD.) I also get much better results of the grains popping than I do when I make it on the stove top.

Once the rice is cooked, you can store it in the freezer in 1 cup portions, or whatever is handiest for you.

Measure the wild rice into the crock pot.



Then add the liquid - I usually use a combination of chicken broth and water.



You'll want a 3:1 ratio of liquid to rice. I used 2 cups of rice and 6 cups of chicken broth/water.

Cover the crock and turn on; my crock is sort of "hot" so it took only 2 hours on high. The first time you do this, stay home and watch it - you want most of the liquid to be absorbed and the grains to pop open:



Check it about every hour and give it a stir. 4-5 hours on low is another option, but I was in a hurry to make soup!

Easy, fast, healthy and versatile. Cooking wild rice in the crock pot works for me!

Get more ideas at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Freezing Blueberries


I love to have blueberries available all year long for use in muffins, cobbler, pancakes, cakes, etc. So each summer, I freeze a large batch of them for use during the year.

Most years, I pick my own. My schedule doesn't allow that this year, so I was thrilled when my neighborhood grocery had an amazing sale on blueberries! I bought 8pints!

Freezing them is very easy. Don't wash them. Just spread the blueberries out on a large rimmed baking sheet (be sure to use a rimmed sheet!). This pan is about 11x17 and it holds 3 pints.



When they're spread out on the sheet, you can easily find the ones that still have little stems attached, are squished or are possibly moldy, and then remove them (either the stems or the whole berry.) This is less likely if you have picked your own, since you probably picked them cleanly and didn't squash any!

Put the pan in the freezer and allow to freeze for about 3 hours minimum. When frozen, scoop them into a zip top freezer bag.



Now you have lucious berries to enjoy all through the winter. That works for me!

Get more great tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Brownie Waffles



This is really less of a recipe, and more of an idea, or a kitchen tip.

I like having dessert (have you noticed?) but I try not to run my oven too much in the summer. We don't have A/C, and I just don't want to heat the house up more than necessary!

So I decided to try making brownies in the waffle iron! And it worked!

I made the brownies from a box mix, as the package directed. Then I poured the batter into the hot waffle iron, just as I would make waffles.



Leave the batter in for about the same time as you would for waffles.



The brownie batter kept for several days in the refrigerator - so if you don't want to make them all in one evening (or morning! ha!) you could make fresh brownie waffles every night...

Top with ice cream and your desired toppings. Brownie sundaes without the oven - that works for me!

Find more great things to eat at Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesdays, What's Cooking Wednesdays and Stop and Smell the Chocolates.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

When hamburger goes on sale, I buy in bulk and then split it up into 1-pound packages for the freezer.



In the summer, I take one extra step. I make hamburgers! When ground beef is frozen in individual packages, they thaw quickly, and since they're pre-formed, dinner can be ready in no time. It's what works for me!

I weigh out individual hamburger patties at a quarter pound each using my kitchen scale. I use 93% beef; if you're using a fattier beef you may want to make your patties slightly larger as there will be more shrinkage. (Or you may want to make them smaller, it's all up to you!)



Then I form them into patties and freeze individually wrapped.



I have the best results using Reynolds Release foil. I've tried wax paper and regular foil, and the meat sticks to them too much. Here are my hamburgers all stacked up and ready for the freezer.



I put the individually wrapped hamburgers in a large zipper freezer bag and label it accordingly. Now I have many meals worth of hamburgers, ready to go!



For more great tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

How to Cut a Canteloupe


I really like canteloupe and we eat a lot of it each summer. I was always frustrated at the time it took to cut it up, until I found this method on about.com.

First, like cutting a pineapple, cut off the top and bottom so it will stand straight up on the cutting board.



Now, remove the rind by cutting in long strips along the outside of the canteloupe, from top to bottom.



After you've gone around the entire melon, you will want to turn it over and get the pieces off near the bottom that you couldn't get when you were slicing downward.



Finally, carefully remove any "green" or pieces of rind that you missed.



Next, cut the canteloupe in half crosswise, and scoop out all the seeds. If you're making melon balls, you would now use these two halves to do that. If you want slices or chunks, continue to the next step!



Cut each half in half; now you have four quarters.



Slice each quarter.



If you're serving slices, now you're done! If you want to, you can cut each slice into bite sized chunks.



I've found this way to be easy, and best of all, quick, with little waste! It works for me!

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

How to Cut a Pineapple



I love fresh pineapple. However, until recently, I avoided buying it very often because I couldn't find an easy way to cut it without destroying a lot of the fruit. Then I experimented and came up with this way, and now we enjoy it whenever it goes on sale!

First, cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple.



Stand it straight up on your cutting board.



Next, cut it in half, right down the middle.



Then, cut each half in half, right down the middle of the core. Now you'll have four pieces.



Now, cutting from top to bottom, cut out the core from each piece. You can tell where the core ends and the fruit begins because of a slight color and texture change.



Now, slice the piece crossways.



Take each piece, and cut off the rind, preserving as much of the fruit as you can.



You may now have to "trim" a little bit to get off those prickly parts.



Finally, cut each piece in chunks as you desire.



I think it maybe took me five minutes max to cut up this large pineapple. And then I enjoyed it with breakfast! If you try this method, let me know how it goes for you!



For more great tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Pineapple on Foodista

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays



Happy Cinco de Mayo! I don't cook with jalapenos too often, but I use them ocassionally and can't possibly use the whole container that I have to buy at my store. Luckily, jalapenos freeze very well, whole or diced. I just toss them in a freezer bag, and then I can take out as many or as few as I need the next time. You could also chop them and freeze them in smaller quantities - a little jalapeno goes a long way!

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

My chest freezer and most of my pantry space is in my basement. I needed a way to easily keep track of what was in the freezer and pantry, so I developed an inventory on an excel spreadsheet that I print and keep in the kitchen. When I take a package of hamburger out of the freezer, or two cans of tuna off the shelf, I just change the number by hand on my inventory sheet.



When I'm planning meals for the week, I can consult the inventory and see how much chicken is in the freezer, how many cans of tomatoes I have, etc. and I then know what I have to buy that week. It also enables me to shop wisely - I won't buy more cans of mushrooms when I know I have 6 on the shelf.

I keep the spreadsheet saved on the computer and about once a quarter I inventory the freezer and shelves and update the sheet, keeping it current, and easier to read! Because it's saved on the computer, I don't have to retype much. I can just change "4" green beans to "2" or delete the chocolate cake mix if I've run out.



I use categories like vegetables, fruits, baking, ethnic and condiments, but you can adapt this easily to your needs.

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy at Tammy's Recipes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

I cut out a lot of recipes from magazines. I tape them onto recycled paper (one side has been printed on) and then slip them into page protectors and keep them in a three ring binder. When I am going to use a recipe, I take that page out of the binder and up to the kitchen.

I keep it in the page protector, which protects it from all the mess in the kitchen (like these carrots from making carrot cake!).



After I've made a recipe for the first time, I write a comment on it like "great" or "only ok" so I remember for the next time. Periodically, I go through and remove the recipes I haven't liked, or the ones I realize I will probably never make...

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

I keep my spices in a deep drawer. This means that the labels are hidden and I only see the top of the jars. I used to spend a lot of time rifling through trying to find the "right" spice. Then I discovered a great short cut! With a sharpie, I wrote the name, or an abbreviation, on the top of each jar. Now I can see exactly where each spice is. No more guessing, and it saves a lot of time and frustration!



For more great tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

If you have citrus fruit that is past its prime, cut it into small chunks and put it down your garbage disposal, while running cold water constantly. This will help "clean" the disposal and also leave it smelling great!



For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy at Tammy's Recipes.
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