Category: Cooking Tips


Nacho's made easy!

Nacho’s made easy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Tortilla Chips 1/2 bag)
  • 1 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese, Cheddar Cheese…or any other cheese you want to use, GRATED
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded & diced
  • 1/2 can Black beans drained (I used leftover)
  • 1/2 med red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Avocado, diced
  • 1 thinly sliced Jalapeno (optional to your taste buds!)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • 1/2- 4oz can of chopped green chilies (again, optional for you gringo’s)
  • Coarsley chopped Cilantro
  • Sour Cream
  • Tomatilla Sauce or Salsa…whatever you prefer
  • Mexican Cheese (looks like feta)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Spread chips on large plate that can fit in microowave
  2. Put grated cheese all around, and under chips..
  3. Put black beans, intermittently on top of cheese
  4. Zap in Microwave for about 30 seconds until cheese is semi melted
  5. Top with Avocado’s, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeno, chilies, onions….you name it, put it on top!
  6. Then some sour cream
  7. Little Mexican Cheese, crumbled
  8. Then, My favorite…Tomatilla sauce or whatever sauce you like then Cilantro!!

Afterall, this is ALL about YOU!!!!!

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A New Twist on Avocado Salad

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lg shallot, sliced thin
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS minced garlic from jar or 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • 5 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 avocados,  cut in half, pitted & cut into ¾ inch pieces , put in a bowl and set aside.
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered (red & gold are perfect)
  • 3 radishes, sliced thin (or 1-2 cups of peeled jicama cut into matchsticks)
  • ½ c chopped “fresh” basil
  • 3 oz feta cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place sliced shallots in 2 cups of ice water (with cubes) and let stand for 30 mins.  Drain, pat dry with paper towel and put aside.
  2.  In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, ¼ tsp each of S & P until mixture appears  milky and no lumps.  Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in oil. The dressing should be thickened by the continuous whisking and do taste to see if it is too tart.  If too tart, add more oil.
  3. Take the bowl with the Avocado’s, add 2 TBS of the dressing and ½ tsp salt and “GENTLY” toss and put on individual plates.
  4. Toss the chilled shallots, cherry tomatoes, radishes and basil with the remaining dressing.  Spoon this mixture over the plated avocados and serve immediately.  If you choose to use the Feta cheese, put it on top and then serve.

This recipe was taken from the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated and it was DEEE Licious!!!

Jalapeno Peppers are hot and it’s the seeds inside them that give them their “heat”!!   Removing their seeds make them more enjoyable to eat or cook with as seen by my video.  REMEMBER….GLOVES!! Click on link below to see video!!

How to Seed a Jalapeno Pepper

Published November 1, 2004. From Cook’s Illustrated.

How do I refresh tired herbs?

If your bunch of parsley, cilantro, or mint is looking a little weary, there’s an easy way to refresh it (and, in the process, wash it). Lop off the stems, submerge the leaves in a bowl of ice water, then swish them around to loosen any dirt and grit. Let them stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until they perk up and regain their lost vitality.

To drain, instead of pouring the whole lot into a colander or salad spinner basket, which will upset the grit settled in the bottom of the bowl, lift the greens out of the water using your hands, leaving the dirt behind. If your parsley or cilantro is utterly limp and lifeless, it is probably beyond resurrection

What are Leeks?
Leeks look somewhat like giant scallions, but with wide flat leaves rather then thin, hollow stalks. Unlike scallions, leeks are prized for the white portion – the tough, leafy green portion generally gets tossed (although since leeks are so pricey and I hate the thought of all that veggie going to waste,  I freeze those bits and add them to my stocks). Leeks are delicious slow-cooked in soups and stews and can also be grilled or sautéed.

To prepare your leeks, remove the dark green, tough outer leaves by cutting all the way down to where the leaf color becomes more of a pale green and cut off the end.  Then, cut the leeks down the center lengthwise, taking care not to pierce all the way through and leaving them connected at the root. This will help keep the leek intact while you rinse it. It’s very, very important to wash leeks thoroughly in cold running water, taking care to get rid of all the grit and dirt that’s collected between the tightly layered leaves (there’ll be quite a bit) seeing that they are from the ground.  Then slice thinly and use in soups or stews.  The leeks are “milder” than onions, have a subtle flavor and a texture that just about melts when cooked!!!!!

This is a vegie that is sooo misunderstood and yet, sooooo good!!! So don’t be afraid of them…TRY ‘EM!!!


Buttermilk….you need it for some recipe and use maybe 1 cup and then what????? it just sits and sits until you throw it away.  well, i decided to research how to make “buttermilk” so that I wouldn’t have to waste…

For 1 cup of buttermilk:

Whisk together 3/4 c plain low-fat yogurt AND 1/4 c low-fat milk

How easy is that????????????

It’s one of my favorite times of the year…the time of the year when corn is plentiful!! I LOVE sweet corn and I never put anything on it…it’s “virginal”, if you will!

Unfortunately, the season is a small one…we wait and wait and next thing you know, they are using the old corn as decorations for Halloween…sooooooo, what can we do?????

Well, my bloggers, there is an answer…YOU CAN FREEZE fresh corn!!!

All you need is a BIG pot of boiling water, and then another BIG pot of cold water WITH ice… in the cooking world this process is called “blanching”…it’s like going from a hot jacuzzi into a cold plunge!!! bbrrrrrr….but what it does is it stops the cooking process!

So, take the husks off the corn and take away those silky hairs.  Clean it of with a vegetable brush if you like and then, when the water is boiling in a BIG pot, put in the corn and keep them in the boiling water for about 5-7 mins.  Then take them out and immediately plunge them into the BIG pot with the cold water and ice and keep them in there for the same amount of time!

Once you have done that, the BEST product to use is a “food saver with  vacuum sealing!!! I LOVE this product, but if you don’t have one than a freezer Ziploc bag will work fine. The most important thing about Ziploc is that you have to make sure you get ALL the air out of it, otherwise you can get freezer burn.  Get a straw and suck the air out of it…that does work!!

Once this is done, then label the corn and into the freezer it goes.   When the time comes and you are hankering for fresh corn, just take it out and put it into boiling water for about 5 minutes and you will be as happy as a pig in…well, you know!!!!

So, how best to clean mushrooms?

For white button mushrooms or Crimini mushrooms, if possible choose ones where the underside has not opened to reveal the gills (those frilly ribs) underneath.  While this isn’t critical, it does make cleaning a bit easier.  If you are using Portabello mushrooms in a light colored sauce, remove the stems and then use a teaspoon to scrape away the gills, leaving the mushroom tops.  The gills can turn the sauce brown, although they won’t effect the taste.

Now the mushrooms can be quickly rinsed in cold water.  Either submerge them just long enough to rinse the dirt off, or put them in a colander and gently spray them with cold water.  Next, place the mushrooms on a dry towel and blot off all the surface water.  For Oyster mushrooms, or others that have a large area of open gills, pay some special attention to drying that part, as a lot of water can be trapped there.  Take one more look, and remove anything that wasn’t rinsed off earlier.

Finally, remove the whole stem if it is woody and you haven’t done so already, or trim off the hard end where it has dried out.  Slice, quarter or chop the mushrooms as directed in the recipe.  Because mushrooms will brown readily once they are cut, it is best to prepare them as close to when they will be used as possible.

Read more: http://kitchensavvy.typepad.com/journal/2005/06/cleaning_mushro.html#ixzz0jtQUcfht

It’ssssssss TIME!!!!!!!!

TIME TO CLEAN THE REFRIGERATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, there never is a time that we “want” to clean the refrigerator….but it does have to be done!! So, why not make it fun!!!!!

Enjoy!!

Use coffee grounds to deodorize your hands after handling garlic, fish, onions or even after smoking. Simply rub damp grounds onto your hands as if you are trying to lather soap. Rub your hands for a few minutes and then wash away with soap and warm water.

Fill a small bowl with fresh coffee grounds and place them into the back of your refrigerator or freezer. Working much like baking soda, the coffee grounds will quickly absorb and foul odors from old foods, fish and other items to keep your fridge deodorized and smelling great.

Tap your coffee grounds into your garbage disposal each morning instead of tapping them into the garbage bin. Running fresh or used coffee grounds through the disposal will help to remove pieces of food and bacteria which cause odor. If your disposal is particularly smelly, add a dozen ice cubes to the drain and place your coffee grounds on top. This will slow the time needed to move the ice and coffee through the disposal for a deep cleaning.

Spread your used coffee grounds out on a baking sheet and allow them to dry thoroughly. Once dry, place the grounds into the toe of an old nylon stocking and tie a know. Hang the stocking to deodorize closets, garages or other small damp places to prevent a mildew smell.