Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dicing, slicing and mincing for the week, so much easier, here is how I do it.

Have you seen on T.V. when cooks and chefs have all of their ingredients ready in little small containers? Or, have you noticed how they sell diced or sliced fresh or frozen onions, garlic, mushrooms and peppers at the supermarket?

Instead of buying them at the supermarket, consider doing it yourself.  I want to share with you what works for me.  Following these simple tips and tricks will make your cooking easier and you will save some money too!

Buy about six small or medium glass containers with lids, about 6, I have 1 and 2 cup containers.  I dedicate no more than 20-30 minutes during the weekend or whenever you can, to slice, dice and mince peppers, onions and garlic cloves. I use these in practically almost all of my recipes.  For those of you that have picky eaters and do not enjoy seeing onions or garlic in the food, mincing is a very good option.   For peppers, just dice them as small as possible.

A word on how I store minced garlic.  Place the minced garlic in an air-tight jar. Cover the garlic with a layer of your chosen oil. Seal the jar and place it in the refrigerator. Use the garlic within three weeks. Dispose of any garlic remaining after that time.

Happy cooking!

 

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Staying connected to your community

I just came back from our community meeting that I attend every month. “WISE is a lively group of women in North County San Diego creating lasting bonds in business and friendship. Supporting each woman to be all that she can be and fulfill her dreams. Offering speakers that inspire and enrich each woman on a personal or professional level. Sharing ideas on business, family, and womanhood as we grow and thrive. Laughing a lot along the way.” It is a great way to stay connected of what is happening in your community and to be able to share your business, socialize and have fun! 

My favorite Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette 

Makes 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

1/2 Tablespoon shallot, finely diced
1/2 Tablespoon apple cider or wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (dried herbs)
1/3 cup olive oil

Shake all ingredients in a jar. Drizzle the vinaigrette over 
the salad and toss.

Oh no… dinner time! You are not alone…

Hmmmmm….what will I cook today? oh no! …not again! Kids asking….”what’s for dinner?” You are NOT alone….

Lots of people just stop on the way back home from work and buy fast food, or stop at the supermarket thinking that their  fairy godmother will show up and help them think fast of a menu for dinner.  Or..even worst…you  have a lot of food at home and you don’t even know what or what to do with it!  And then the pressure…it has to be healthy and delicious!

Besides hearing this over and over every day from my family and friends, I went through this too!

Let me try to help you in some way. After all, that is what my blog is all about, helping with tricks, tips and simple and delicious recipes.

Let me share what I did to solve this.  First of all, since I have my great-grandmother’s, my grand-mother and my mother’s notebooks full of recipes…besides my own…I created a RED binder (my favorite color).  I have gathered lots of recipes from them, cookbooks, chefs, family and friends. And, of course I keep adding, I  own two binders now! I also bought a big box of plastic covers at Costco and covered each recipe (you can insert two recipes in a cover). By doing this, I can get them all dirty while I am cooking and then I just wipe them off.  It is worth your precious time, believe me! Begin slowly, one day at a time, you will “actually” know what you are eating when you cook from scratch. It is a great feeling!

Once a week, I pull out some recipes from my red binder, then I make sure that I have the ingredients.  Check your refrigerator and freezer, then prepare your food list.

If you don’t want to bother finding a vegetable recipe, you can mix 2-3 different vegetables, mix them a bowl with olive oil, 1/4 sliced onion, salt, pepper and some kind of herb (s) and roast them in the oven at 475 °F for 20-25 mins. please remember to set up a timer. While the oven is taking care of your veggies you can prepare the rest of your meal.

If you also want to have potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams, slice or cube and precook them for 2-3 minutes in a small bowl covered with a safe microwave lid.  Then, add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning (mixed dried herb/condiment section) and sautee  for approximately 5 minutes. (Sauteing is the process by which a vegetable is sliced and brought to a golden-brown by cooking it over a medium-low to medium heat with a bit of olive oil (1 Tbsp) without adding water).

I usually wait for the weekend to try out side dish recipes. Once you have tried them, you will become a pro, feel more confident and cook them during the week.
After I try a new recipe, I write my own comments, first the date, then…, “added more salt,” “replaced shallots for red onion,” my kids and my husband  loved it…and so on.. oh…I even rate it with stars too!  I am my own food critic!

My red binder cookbook

My mom is on the cover when she was 24 years old.  She is my inspiration!

Sweet roasted potatoes with pecans and feta cheese

Sweet roasted potatoes with pecans and feta cheese

Trial & Error

“Of course I made many boo-boos. At first this broke my heart, but then I came to understand that learning how to fix one’s mistakes, or live with them, was an important part of becoming a cook.” (Julia Child)

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