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.

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Preserving Bananas

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 than let them set out to ripen too quickly, wrap the bananas in a plastic bag – the type the grocer packs your groceries in. Fairly snuggly. Place the bunch in the bag, then twist the bag, removing all air as you do, then wrap the bag around the bananas.

Now put the wrapped bunch of bananas in another bag the same way, and then a third bag the same way also. Place in the back of the refrigerator or crisper.

The bananas will last quite a while in case you forget to eat them as planned.






 

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

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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 inch deep slit with the tip of a sharp knife – about 1/2 inch wide.

Now cross that slit with a matching one, so it looks like a cross.

Place in cup – slit side up –  then microwave for thirty seconds to one minute, depending on the wattage of your unit. You don’t want it to blow up, though if it does, then next time just scale back on the time.

Remove from microwave, let set till cool, then squeeze over bowl to release all juice.

Lemons respond well too. It’s especially helpful in keeping seeds inside the lemon and only allowing the juice to come out.

For that reason don’t make the slits too large. A small opening is sufficient.






 

Making Pumpkin Seed Snow

NUTSTOP PUMPKIN SEEDS

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 prevent the unit from overheating.

Transfer to covered jar and store in pantry.

Use as a salad topper for nearly all types of salad. Or use as a soup topper, or mixed in with veggie burger mix, veggie meatball mix, stuffed cabbage mix, oatmeal and other hot cereals.

Be imaginative.

 DONKEY BEAN SAUCE

PERSIMMONS DRESSING FOR SALAD

 

PUMPKIN SEED SNOW 6






 

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 prefer the way with 1/4 cup water less per 1 cup rice.


BROWN:

3 c. water

2 t. salt

2 c. rice.

Bring water, salt and rice to boil in saucepan. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 40 minutes, stirring midway through and returning cover to complete 20 minutes longer. Remove from heat and fluff.

The original recipe on the package calls for 4 cups water. I tried it two ways and preferred less water with the recommended cooking time of 40 minutes.

Both rice colors maintained their firmness on the first chew, while plumped sufficiently to make the subsequent chews tender.






 

SKINNING ALMONDS

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

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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. Now we powder the dried herbs. We’re already familiar with powdered sage and rosemary. All we need to do is find a way to powder them at home – and then grind others as well. You can’t do this in a blender or food processor. They won’t turn out. You must use a good quality coffee grinder.

When grinding dried herbs into a powder, fill the well of the coffee grinder, process till powdered, then sift through a wire mesh strainer over a bowl several times to remove all the residue bits.

Don’t try to push all the material through the strainer. Instead, shake softly back and forth not letting hard bits escape through the holes by you forcing them through with a rough shake. Discard the residue bits from bottom of strainer.

Place sifted powdered herb into a jar with a lid and use when wanted.

Powdered herbs are useful for adding to a dish just before serving by stirring till it disappears into the dish. It creates a more potent flavor profile. Just be sure that you want the added flavor and only sprinkle lightly to keep from overpowering the overall flavor achievement.

I used dried mint as the herb I wanted to powder. And it worked nicely in the dish in which I used it. Occasionally when I want a mint flavor in a dish I usually don’t have any fresh on hand. Now I can improvise with powdered mint.






 

Removing Pesticides From Fruit

Kate Sheridan,Newsweek Wed, Oct 25 2:45 PM EDT

Finish reading: Your Fruit Is Covered With Nasty Pesticides: Scientists Have Discovered the Best Way to Wash Them Off





 

AFC DRY SEED BOUILLON

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

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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
We might be in the thick of squash season, but that doesn’t mean you should struggle with those, er, thick skins anymore. We’ve got an amazing trick that makes peeling butternut squash so much easier.

Stick the squash in the microwave to soften the skin before peeling.

Just a few minutes in the microwave means you don’t have to worry about chopping off a finger when you’re hacking at that rock-hard exterior. Watch the video above for a full demonstration of the following steps.

Prick the skin of the squash all over with a fork.

Slice off both ends of the squash.

Microwave the squash for about 3½ minutes. This softens the skin considerably.

Let the squash cool enough to handle, or use a towel to hold it, and simply peel away the skin…

Finish reading: The Best Way To Peel and Cut Butternut Squash | Tasting Table





 

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, add it to the bowl, stirring to coat as you add new fruit.

Let it set for up to a couple hours in the case of apples, and with bananas till you add the other ingredients. Stir as needed every so often.

For apples: Strain the apples and run under cold tap water to remove excess turmeric. Drain again then add to recipe.

With bananas, either use the turmeric and orange juice in the recipe or strain without rinsing.






 

BROWNED SPAGHETTI STICKS

browned-spaghetti-sticks-1

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 tongs, being careful not to burn them, but also careful to brown them all.

Transfer to pot of boiling water and cook till tender – just as you would do regular pasta.

Drain in wire mesh strainer and run under cool water to keep separate.

I use these little sticks in rice dishes to create an alternate texture to the rice. Nice.

browned-spaghetti-sticks-3






 

BLACK RUSSIAN CROUTONS

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 wire rack over baking sheet and bake in preheated oven at 25o degrees for 30 minutes. or till crisp throughout.

Cool at room temperature, then bag, seal and store in dry place.

Use for soups and salads.

One half loaf made about 3 cups croutons.






PICKLED GINGER STICKS

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 pickled ginger sticks.

Peel the ginger, cut the tiny little nubs off and use for whatever you want to use them for, then cut into thin planks, then thin sticks.

Place the sticks in a jar and cover with vinegar. This time I used a red wine vinegar; maybe next time I won’t have any so I’ll use a different vinegar. Refrigerate. Mine kept a couple of months before it was gone – because I used it all. Beyond that I don’t know.

The first time I did this, I thought that perhaps the ginger would lose some its flavor by marinating in the vinegar. Not so. If anything the vinegar augments the flavor and the heat of the fresh ginger. It also maintains its crispness – another plus.

Use in salads, sauces and stir-fries.






 

STAGES OF CARAMELIZING ONION

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, then add the other ingredients that take a shorter amount of time to cook, so that when all is done, the onion is perfect.

If you go a step further, the onion is translucent and brown-tinged around the edges, and cooked over medium heat. This is when you want a small char taste to the onions that will be imparted into the final dish.

Still further, whereby there’s a tan-colored look to most of the onion with a little char and they’re moderately soft to the tooth, but not mushy, you now have a light caramelized onion, that can be served as a side dish or as a topper for veggie hot dogs, subs or veggie burgers. This is also done over medium heat.

When you’re reaching for a dark caramelization, you cook the onion over low heat for a long time. There’s no char, but the onions are very soft, but not mushy, and equally brown-colored.

TRANSLUCENT ONION

TRANSLUCENT

BROWN-TINGED ONION

TRANSLUCENT AND BROWN-TINGED

CARAMELIZED ONION

LIGHT CARAMELIZATION WITH SOME CHAR

CARAMELIZED ONION

DARK CARAMELIZED ONION



BLACK STRIPE

USING FRESH TURMERIC

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 fresh turmeric I peeled and cut off a piece and chewed it pretty much like one would chew tobacco to extract the juices for maximum benefit. I don’t however recommend this. Several hours later I noticed to my horror that my teeth, gums and tongue were all a bright orange. It took days of brushing to remove the stains. Others I talked to who had tried fresh turmeric said that didn’t happen to them, but they ate it along with something else – mainly fresh fruit.

It goes especially well with apples and pears. Use it in soups, where you add it peeled and grated into each bowl as a topper. Sprinkle it grated over salads. Including sliced radishes in the salad makes the turmeric not stand alone in texture and flavor.

I use powdered turmeric in a lot of different recipes. In scrambled, baked of fried tofu it imparts a hint of an egg taste. You can use it in bean dishes to enhance the flavor of the beans, and in rice dishes for color and flavor depth. I’ll often put it in homemade veggie burgers, even cookies. So, experiment.

As I’m writing this, I’m drinking a juice glass of carrot juice with a teaspoon of powdered turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory effects.  Rather than take an over the counter pain med, I’m going to give it a try once a day to see if it helps the pain in my hip.

Turmeric has a flavor whereby if you like it, you do, if you don’t, you don’t. Try it and see what you think.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURMERIC


Getting to the Root of the Turmeric Trend

US News
You may know turmeric as the deep-yellow spice in Indian curries. Or perhaps you recognize it as the ingredient that makes classic American mustard bright yellow. Maybe you have a jar of ground turmeric buried in your cupboards, or recently spotted fresh turmeric root in the produce aisle at your supermarket. It’s that knobby orange thing that looks like a cross between a small piece of ginger and a carrot.

All of a sudden, turmeric is having a moment — a big shiny moment in the spotlight. Headlines are touting the myriad health benefits of turmeric, Pinterest boards and blogs are bursting with turmeric-filled recipes, new cold-pressed juices and fancy teas infused with turmeric are hitting store shelves and trend trackers are declaring turmeric as the next big thing.

What’s going on?…

CONTINUE READING > http://news.yahoo.com/getting-root-turmeric-trend-130240897.html



BLACK STRIPE

NEW RICE POLICY

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.

RINSING RICE 2






 

CARAMELIZED WALNUTS

CARAMELIZED WALNUTS SAUCEPAN

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 t. baking soda

2 T. light brown sugar, plus an additional 2 T.


Place walnuts, olive oil, water, baking soda and 2 T. of the brown sugar in small saucepan.

Cook on medium-low heat, stirring continuously till smooth and it foams up and boils. Continue cooking and stirring about 1-2 minutes till foam disappears and some water evaporates.

Add the additional 2 T. brown sugar, stirring to coat evenly and till mixture gums up, but where some sugar remains grainy, but brown.

Immediately transfer to plate in even layer. Refrigerate till cool, about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, stir on plate to separate walnuts, then return to refrigerator till ready to use.

When ready to use, remove from refrigerator, separate clumps again, and let set at room temperature a few minutes before using.

Check Out Miyoko Green Beans to see how I used them in a side dish!






MAKING CUCUMBER CANOES

CUCUMBER CANOES 1

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 a flatware teaspoon and draw it over the seeds from end to end, down to the flesh of the cucumber.

Clean it up, removing any gelatinous material and there it is – a canoe.

Slice or dice the cucumber canoe depending on the needs of the recipe.






 

TOASTING SESAME SEEDS

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 and transfer to plate. Transfer to covered container when cooled and use as desired in recipes.

When you taste sesame seeds raw, they won’t have much flavor. Quite the opposite when toasted. I was surprised the first time I toasted these seeds, firstly, how fragrant the air became, and secondly, how much flavor they added to a recipe.

TOASTING SESAME SEEDS 2

I toasted both white and black sesame seeds. Flavor-wise I didn’t taste a difference between the two.






SEEDING FRESH TOMATOES

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 matter what type tomato you’re seeding, cut both ends off. Then, cut the tomato in half from end to end.

Now, you can either use your fingers, a spoon or a knife to scoop out the innards going from one side to the other. And that’s it. You’re left with clean tomato shells.


TOMATO MEATS 1

TOMATO MEATS 4

TOMATO MEATS 6

TOMATO MEATS 3

TOMATO MEATS 5






 

SQUEEZING LEMONS AND LIMES

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 guests or yourself bites into it. You can squeeze into a small wire mesh strainer over a cup. That way you remove the seeds and strain with one action.

Soften pulp to facilitate squeezing by rolling whole lemon or lime firmly on counter top till you can feel the membranes inside break. Cut and squeeze.

To make squeezing easy, purchase a heavy duty lemon squeezer. When squeezing oranges, cut into 4 segments and place in bowl of squeezer pulp side down.






 

MELONS, HOW TO CUBE

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. Lift out melon and discard peel.

Cut each slice of melon into 3/4 inch cubes, discarding (or eating) the pieces that don’t closely resemble cubes.

Now take each cube and using the tip of a paring knife gently flip out the seeds.

You’ll find it much easier to remove the seeds after the watermelon has been cubed than to remove them before. Always remove the seeds.

Reserve remaining watermelon for other use.

To cube canteloupe and honey dew:

Cut melon in half and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp cleanly, leaving a smooth, firm surface.

Cut each half in half again, then cut each quarter in half lengthwise into wedges.

Now, depending upon the size of the melon you may have to cut in half again, lengthwise. Keep in mind that you want 3/4 inch cubes.

Next, run a sharp knife between the peel and the melon. Lift out melon and discard peel.

Cut melon into 3/4 inch cubes. Discard (or eat) the tips of each wedge in order to keep the pieces nearly uniform.






 

LEMON OR ORANGE ZEST

LEMON OR ORANGE ZEST Continue reading →

GRATING GINGER AND MAKING GINGER STICKS

GRATING GINGER AND MAKING GINGER STICKS Continue reading →

TOASTING COCONUT

TOASTING COCONUT

Continue reading →

SQUEEZING SAUERKRAUT

SQUEEZING SAUERKRAUT Continue reading →

MAKING SOY WHIPPED CREAM

SOY WHIPPED CREAM — DELICIOUS! Continue reading →

ROASTING PORTOBELLA MUSHROOMS

ROASTING PORTOBELLA MUSHROOMS Continue reading →

ROASTING EGGPLANT FOR RECIPES

ROASTING EGGPLANT FOR RECIPES Continue reading →

PICKLE FAN GARNISHES – HOW TO MAKE

PICKLE FAN GARNISHES – HOW TO MAKE Continue reading →

MAKING NUT CRUMBLES

MAKING NUT CRUMBLES Continue reading →

MATCH STICK CARROTS, HOW TO MAKE

MATCH STICK CARROTS, HOW TO MAKE Continue reading →

CARROT RIBBONS, HOW TO MAKE

CARROT RIBBONS, HOW TO MAKE Continue reading →