Have you ever been in the middle of fixing a recipe and realize you are short on an ingredient? A few months ago I came up a half cup short of brown sugar. How I could run out of something I use all the time was no surprise as I ended up with double powdered sugar instead of one of each. But I knew how to fix the problem. I made my own brown sugar. For each cup of white sugar add two tablespoons of molasses and mix well. That’s all there is to it. Use and store as you would store bought. Enjoy!
From Wikipedia: Thyme is an evergreen herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses. Thyme is of the genus Thymus, most commonly Thymus vulgaris.
Thyme is widely used in Italian cooking and even more so in French cuisine. When cooking with thyme be sure to add it early in the process so the oils and flavor have time to be released. This herb is great when used fresh, and goes well in many typical southern Italy pasta sauces which often feature peppers and eggplants. Thyme also is a great complement for many vegetables, including tomatoes and roasted potatoes. For roasted and grilled meats, thyme marries well with sage and rosemary. When you grill, you can get great results if you marinate the meat for a few hours before grilling with those three herbs (thyme, sage and rosemary), along with good quality Italian olive oil and pepper. Thyme is often used in stocks and stews – it is an essential component of the bouquet garni and herbes de Provence that are often used in Italian cooking – and in aromatic oils as well.
Do I use all my gadgets? That is a question I have been asked many times. Some are so cool, but I know I will never use them, at least more than once. Some are so old, I would be afraid to use them. (They were old when I got them!) My latest gadget is really more than one, as it looks like a bottle and is really eight gadgets in one. It comes apart and each piece is a different gadget for the kitchen. It would be great for someone just starting out, or someone with no storage space. I loved the look of it!
Even though I already had all of the items, I had to have it. It was a Christmas gift to myself while I was shopping online at Amazon. I have a wish list on Amazon that I keep updated with neat gadgets I see. Every so often I pick one thing to add to my cart, mostly items that are inexpensive and that I have never seen in a store and the most unusual. Isn’t this one neat though?
I have a friend that loves Peppermint Bark. Not the kind you buy at the stores, with the milk/dark/white chocolate, but the kind I make. So being the good friend I am, I make her some every year. It is a simple recipe, and you can use white chocolate chips or the bar. Just melt it in the microwave or on the stove top in a double boiler, add some peppermint extract and some crushed peppermint. Then pour it out onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and let cool. After it is cool (I put mine in the garage to let it cool faster, now that it is cold out) break into pieces and store in an airtight container. I have to hide the jar I make for my girlfriend or she may not get it!
1 pound of white chocolate
5 oz of crushed peppermint candy
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
Melt white chocolate and stir in peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candy. Spread onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool. When cooled, break into pieces and store in airtight container. Enjoy!
A couple of years ago I started doing mixes and mixers of all kinds. I have been experimenting with a variety of candy-infused vodkas to taco seasoning! I’ve ordered special bottles for the alcohol, jars for the seasonings and mixes, and even made my own labels and instruction cards. So far I have tried a few different teas, hot chocolate mixes, dip mixes and more. There have been a bunch of bath salts with different scents and a variety of flavored lip balms. I even made some Apple Pie Moonshine!
It’s the holiday season and out come those gadgets we have only for the holidays, including my nutcrackers. There are dozens out there but I still use the old fashioned ones my mother and grandmother had. You know the ones I mean, the metal ones that came with the picks also.
There are many more out there, and I have a couple of them. Mine are simple and can be used for seafood also. But there are some shaped like people and various animals, such as a squirrel. I even saw one that looks like Darth Vader and a former president. And of course the wooden soldier that comes alive at night and dances!
I am working on some homemade mixes to give as gifts. I have been in my lab (kitchen) the past couple of weeks playing with a variety of mixes. I am posting one of my favorites, that I am using quite often, Taco Seasoning. I use it for tacos, enchiladas and more. Mix it with re-fried beans or sour cream for a great dip! Play with it and enjoy!
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
1 cup chili powder
1/2 cup onion powder
1/4 cup cumin
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons sea salt
2 Tablespoons paprika
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Put in gift jars or bags and add a tag or label. Three tablespoons is the same as a packet (4 oz.) of store bought taco seasoning.
From Wikipedia: *Salvia officinalis (garden sage, common sage) is a small, perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers.
This being November, (where did the other ten months go already?) I knew I had to blog about what I call the Thanksgiving herb, sage. It is one of the herbs used in the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing in the United States.
Sage has a slight peppery flavor, and it enhances meat and poultry, as well as vegetables. It is used in Italian dishes, cheese, baked goods and marinades of all kinds. Culinary sage is very abundant in the vitamins A and C.
Fresh sage is far less bitter than dried sage but in either form, a little goes a long way. It is not particularly palatable fresh so add it sooner in the cooking process rather than near the end as with most fresh herbs. Sage will stand up to long cooking times making it a natural for stewed or braised dishes.
Tired of trying to find a certain kitchen tool in a drawer or utensil holder that is overflowing with the wrong tools? With the Joseph Joseph’s “5 in 1″ tool, you don’t need to worry about so many kitchen utensils. This one tool is a slotted spoon, a turner, a spatula, a spoon and a cutter. It is made of tough nylon, is heat resistant up to 480 degrees F and dishwasher safe.