February 12, 2012

Simplify Your Life Series: The A-Z of Food

If you're looking to simplify a little bit of your life or achieve a major overhaul then join me for our ten part series as we work alongside Country Living's Simple Country Wisdom: 501 Old-Fashioned Ideas to Simplify Your Life by Susan Waggoner.  I pick a few points in each chapter, expound upon them and share some of my own tips.  Grab your favorite cuppa and join along!  (Start at the beginning HERE.)

The A-Z of Food

"Where ordinary cooks gather, genius happens.  To me, a few really good food tips are more valuable than a four-star chef's most treasured recipe." -- Susan Waggoner  

Since I couldn't decide which of the 26 letters of the alphabet to highlight I decided to share a few tips from the letters that begin with my children's names.

Noah -- N -- huh...this is funny ya'll...there is no "N" in this A-Z chapter. So...I'll give you one of my own!  *smile*  Noodles!  When cooking noodles bring water to a boil, add noodles and remove the pot from heat.  Let them stand for 20 minutes stirring twice! Drain and use them in your favorite recipe!  I have some yummy main dish recipes HERE.

Rebekah -- R -- Roasted duck or chicken is so much better when you let the bird sit, unwrapped, in the refrigerator for a few days before glazing and roasting it.  Just unwrap the bird, rinse inside the cavity and out, and pat dry.  Set on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up, and leave it in the fridge for three days.  When it's time to cook, rub with the glaze of your choice and roast as usual.  I must add that I like my chicken roasted breast side down.  See my other roasting tips HERE.

Hannah -- H -- Herbs and spices can spice up some common dishes when you're looking for more than the usual salt, pepper, garlic, and onions.  Beef: allspice, basil, bay, caraway, cilantro, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, horseradish, lemongrass, marjoram, mustard, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme.  Chicken: bay, basil, caraway, coriander, cumin, dill, curry, ginger, lemongrass, marjoram, mustard, rosemary, sage, tarragon.  Pork: allspice, anise, basil, chervil, cilantro, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, ginger, lemongrass, marjoram, mustard, rosemary, sage, savories, tarragon, thyme.

Isaac -- I -- If you love Iced Coffee on a summer's day, keep coffee ice cubes on hand.  Made from freshly brewed coffee, they'll chill your drink without diluting it.

Lydia -- L -- Lettuce ... Salad greens that have gone a bit soggy can be revived by soaking in cold water with some lemon juice.  To store, place in a zip-style bag with a paper towel to absorb moisture.

Elijah -- E -- Most people like egg salad and deviled eggs, but peeling a hard-boiled egg is no picnic if you don't know how.  First, choose older eggs to boil, because fresh eggs are the hardest to peel.  As soon as the eggs have cooked, put them in cold water (I add several ice cubes!).  When you're ready to peel them, gently crack the shells in several places.  Hold the egg under cold running water, rolling it gently between your fingers to loosen the shell.  Begin peeling at the large end, passing the egg under water from time to time.  The shell should slip right off without taking chunks of the white with it.

Abigail -- A -- Add a dash of ... balsamic vinegar to your spaghetti sauce to make it taste like it's been simmering all day.  Add a dash of celery seed to barbecue sauce to add a fresh green note to sauce that has been stored for weeks.  Add a dash of coffee to chocolate to amplify the taste of the chocolate.  Add a dash of nutmeg to muffin batter.  Nutmeg is the spice flavor in plain donuts, subtle yet delicious!  It's an ingredient in my muffin mix!  Add a dash of salt to potato water.  Potatoes absorb more salt taste from the water they cook in than from salt added later on, so salting the water reduces your overall sodium intake.

Samuel -- S -- Substitutions ... Baking powder: 1 teaspoon baking powder equals 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.  Cornstarch: 1 tablespoon cornstarch equals 2 tablespoons flour.  Lemon juice: 1 teaspoon lemon juice equals 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar.  Milk: 1 cup whole milk equals 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water.  For more substitutions visit my post HERE.

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Join me in the coming weeks as we unwrap the present that is our lives.  The next step in our series is Better Living Through Baking.  Please share this series by placing the button in the side bar of your blog or share on Facebook by clicking the button at the very bottom of this post.

* photos courtesy of Country Living

This post is part of the Homestead Barn Hop.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I found that it works well to peel a hard boiled egg when I use a spoon to loosen the egg.

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