All grilled cheese sandwiches don’t have to meet the melt requirement, whereby the cheese oozes and drips. Sometimes, hot and soft is just as acceptable, especially when using a thicker sliced cheese. Bring it to room temperature before pan-grilling it and soft will be just as enjoyable. To help bring the internal temperature of the... Continue Reading →


Oven-Roasted Pablano Peppers and Hatch Chilies

OVEN-ROASTED PABLANO PEPPERS AND HATCH CHILIS 1-1/4 lbs. fresh pablano chilies, or 4 X-lg., washed and drained 1-1/3 lbs. fresh hatch chilies, or 10 lg. (also called green chilies), washed and drained Place all peppers on wire rack over large baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, turning once halfway through.... Continue Reading →


BOILING FRESH ASPARAGUS Although I often steam asparagus, especially when I'm looking for a crisper, bright green texture and appearance, the best way to make sure every nook and cranny of the tips are sanitized properly is to boil them. I know nobody likes to do that, but it does produce a cleaner, stronger asparagus... Continue Reading →

Pre-cooking Your Mushrooms

1 lb. fresh white button mushrooms, washed well, then quartered like a cross 5 oz. fresh Shitake mushrooms, washed well, stems removed from the caps with a knife and discarded 1 jumbo fresh Portobello mushroom cap, washed well, stem removed and discarded, sliced into 3/8 inch wide steaks, then crosswise into 3/4 inch wide segments 4... Continue Reading →

Making Orange Rind Matchsticks

MAKING ORANGE RIND MATCHSTICKS The next time you peel an orange to eat, save the peel, especially if it's a thick peel. Why waste all that flavor when you can prepare it to use as a condiment/seasoning/flavoring in many dishes. All it involves is removing the pithe (white part of the orange peel) from the... Continue Reading →

Preserving Bananas

Steve told me how to do this years ago. He discovered it by accident, trying to keep bananas from rotting so quickly. It works every time. I don't know the science behind it, but the proof is in the result. This is what you do: When you bring a bunch of bananas home from market, rather... Continue Reading →

Drying Macaroni For Macaroni Salads

  DRYING MACARONI FOR MACARONI SALADS For a more dense macaroni chew experience, partially dry-cook elbows before adding them to your salad. A simple procedure makes a world of difference. Makes 1 pound 1 lb. box elbow macaroni - I used Mueller's brand - my mother said it wasn't as starchy feeling as the other... Continue Reading →

Best Lime Squeeze

Limes are difficult to squeeze. Even when you firmly roll them on the counter under your hand to loosen the membranes they, unlike the lemon, do not respond as well. If you have a microwave this is what to do: First wash the lime. Next, on the side of the lime make about a 3/4... Continue Reading →

Making Pumpkin Seed Snow

MAKING PUMPKIN SEED SNOW All you need to make Pumpkin Seed Snow are raw, shelled pumpkin seeds and an electric coffee bean grinder. Fill the well of the grinder leaving enough head space for the 'swell'. Process till seeds become fluffy, pausing a few times to scrape up snow from bottom of well and to... Continue Reading →

Cooking Red And Brown Rice

RED: 3 c. water 2 t. salt 2 c. rinsed red rice Bring to boil in saucepan. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff. The original recipe on the package calls for 1-3/4 cup water for 1 cup rice. Now that I've done it two ways. I... Continue Reading →


SKINNING ALMONDS Almonds are hard nuts. Even while chewing they seem to never soften up. Do a parboil, a soak, then a peel for extra eye-appeal and they might just change your mind! Makes 4 cups almonds after soaking 3 c. whole raw, unsalted almonds 6 c. water In large saucepan bring almonds and water... Continue Reading →

Making Powdered Herbs

Normally we don't garnish with dried herbs, because the rough feel on the mouth throws the texture achievement of the entire dish into chaos. However, there is a way to utilize the potency of a dried herb by turning it to powder. We use paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg et al as garnish and they're all powdered.... Continue Reading →

Removing Pesticides From Fruit

Your Fruit Is Covered With Nasty Pesticides: Scientists Have Discovered the Best Way to Wash Them Off Kate Sheridan,Newsweek Wed, Oct 25 2:45 PM EDT A common kitchen product could supercharge fruit-washing protocols. A new study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry on Thursday, found that baking soda could remove far more pesticide from the surface... Continue Reading →


AFC DRY SEED BOUILLON  Get out your coffee grinder and clean it up - no coffee grounds visible in the well, not even one. We're going to grind and pulverize some seeds, then make a mix out of it, to use in a variety of  applications - for home or restaurant. Makes approx. 9 cups... Continue Reading →

The Best Way To Peel and Cut Butternut Squash 

We know you hate having to peel and cut butternut squash, but with this amazing trick, you have no excuse for buying it prepackaged. Get the recipe on Tasting Table. The Super-Simple Trick to Peeling Butternut Squash Never fear peeling butternut squash again with this seriously easy hack BY ALISON SPIEGEL 10/27/16 We might be... Continue Reading →

Discoloration Prevention

This is an easy one. Tired of seeing your apple cubes and banana slices turn brown right before your eyes, before you've hardly finished cutting them? Here's a solution that works. Combine the juice of 1-2 oranges (fresh) in bowl with a strong sprinkling of turmeric. Stir to dissolve. Then as you cut the fruit,... Continue Reading →


Browned Spaghetti Sticks For Rice Pilaf dishes 1 T. extra virgin olive oil 50 (or as many as you want) stands of dried spaghetti , broken into 4ths or 6ths Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place broken spaghetti pieces into skillet and cook till lightly browned. Shake pan or move them around with... Continue Reading →


BLACK RUSSIAN CROUTONS Bakery-style black bread makes superior croutons for soup or salad. Why not give it a try next time you see some authentic Russian black bread! Makes as many as you want preheat oven to 250 degrees 1/2 loaf bakery-style Russian black bread or pumpernickel, cut into 1/2 inch cubes Place cubes on... Continue Reading →


Ever buy a big piece of ginger, use part of it, refrigerate the rest, then not get back to it till it's moldy? Yeah, me too. Ginger molds quickly. Being that it's not readily available in all markets, when I do get some fresh ginger this is what I now do with the leftover. Make... Continue Reading →


There are several ways to saute onions - resulting in different degrees of caramelization. The first is to fry the onion in oil and/or margarine till translucent, over medium-low heat. The onion still has firmness and is essentially a stir-fried onion, like the Chinese do. I often say in a recipe to fry till translucent,... Continue Reading →


FRESH TURMERIC Lots of people are using fresh turmeric these days. Just as with fresh ginger vs powdered ginger, the benefits of fresh turmeric vs powdered are essentially the same. But if you worry that the powdered isn't organic and/or you just want the taste of fresh, then buy fresh. The first time I had... Continue Reading →


Since reading about high arsenic levels in rice, particularly brown rice, I now rinse all bagged rice till water runs clear before cooking it. Place dried rice in wire mesh strainer. Run faucet water over rice, while holding the strainer over a saucepan, emptying pan as needed, till the water runs clear into the pan.... Continue Reading →


CARAMELIZED WALNUTS Easy and delicious! Walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, water, brown sugar and baking soda, cooked till caramelized and cooled till crispy! Great for topping salads or side dishes! Makes enough to top 4 salads, or side dishes 1/2 c. walnut halves or pieces 1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil 2 T. water 1/4... Continue Reading →


The standard garden-variety cucumber is the seediest. So when you don't want the seeds to complicate the texture achievement of your recipe, you simply remove them. Peel the cucumber, then cut each end off. Cut the cucumber in half from end to end. Put one half cucumber cupped in your hand, seed side up. Take... Continue Reading →


Toasting sesame seeds is much like toasting coconut. It doesn't take long. Place sesame seeds in dry skillet, without overlapping much. Turn heat to low. Watch carefully for the first signs of browning, then shake skillet till most are lightly browned and the nut aroma in the air is prominent. Remove skillet immediately from heat... Continue Reading →


Seeding a tomato actually means removing the seeds with the pulp, leaving the skin and the fleshy part attached to the skin. In other words, you don't have to pick through the pulp to remove the seeds. The pulp goes out with the seeds. Seeding tomatoes is easy to do once you do it. No... Continue Reading →


SQUEEZING LEMONS AND LIMES Always squeeze lemons and limes into a cup or bowl, then remove the seeds and add juice to the recipe. If squeezed into the hand to let the juice run through the fingers, the possibility always exists that a seed will slip through too, unbeknownst to you, until one of your... Continue Reading →


To cube watermelon: Cut watermelon in half lengthwise. Take one half, and starting at one end slice into 3/4 inch thick slices. Discard the end piece and only slice as many slices as you estimate you’ll need for the recipe. Take each slice and run a sharp sturdy knife between the peel and the melon.... Continue Reading →


LEMON OR ORANGE ZEST The zest of a lemon/orange is the outer most layer of the peel (skin) of the lemon without any white part that is found underneath the peel (the pith). If you have a very sharp potato peeler, you can peel the zest off with that, if not, use a sharp knife... Continue Reading →


GRATING GINGER AND MAKING GINGER STICKS When grating ginger it is not necessary to peel it before grating it, if grated over very small holes of the grater (unless specified to do so in a recipe). You can grate ginger fresh, frozen or dried. Always grate fresh or frozen as you need it. If grated,... Continue Reading →


TOASTING COCONUT 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut This process is going to happen quickly, so be prepared to act fast. Have an empty bowl near the stove that you can grab quickly. Place coconut evenly in dry skillet. Shaking the skillet evens out the coconut better than using a spoon to start. Turn heat to... Continue Reading →


SQUEEZING SAUERKRAUT In recipes calling for squeezed sauerkraut: Empty contents of jar, can or bag in colander. Using fists press repeatedly against bottom of colander to extract the excess liquid. Gather up the sauerkraut in your hands and continue to squeeze till it forms a ball. Some recipes require that you lightly rinse the sauerkraut... Continue Reading →


SOY WHIPPED CREAM — DELICIOUS! RICH WHIP NON-DAIRY TOPPING is available in the frozen food section of grocery stores. Visit their website for a store locator: This miracle soy product comes packaged in 8 ounce cartons and can be found in the frozen food section of the supermarket. I purchase several at once, put them... Continue Reading →


ROASTING PORTOBELLA MUSHROOMS Roasted Portobella mushrooms with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. That’s all you need. Slice to serve as is, or slice and saute in a little more olive oil, salt and pepper!  Makes 4 whole mushrooms Preheat oven to 400 degrees Mushrooms: 4 fresh whole Portobella mushrooms;... Continue Reading →


ROASTING EGGPLANT FOR RECIPES Preheat oven to 400 degrees People really do become intimidated by the roasting process. I don’t know the why of it, but I do too. I’m thinking it takes so long. Yes, but the prep work is minimal. Nobody has to stand by the oven while the veggies roast. Put them... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: