Archive for the ‘Cooking Techniques’ Category

A Pomegranate Day

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Shared by Joan J in North Dakota. :)


Roasting Pumpkins & Winter Squash

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

With Fall quickly upon us and all  the lovely pumpkins and squash available in the Harvest packs, I couldn’t resist roasting one.

The process is simple, and the results are well worth the effort.  No more canned pumpkin puree for me!


Popping Indian Corn

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

I absolutely love the way Indian corn looks – it’s colorful, shiny kernels make it excellent for decorating during fall nestled with some funky gourds and cute mini pumpkins. Only recently I found out that some of it is food grade (though some is not because it is treated to only be used as decorations). I was eager to pop some with my daughter. We tried it three ways – on the stovetop, in the microwave and in our popcorn popper.

Lunch in a Jar

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

A couple that I know just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The key to their success? Well, according to the husband their happy marriage is all because his wife has packed him his lunch every work day for their whole married life. At first, this revelation made me feel really…guilty. I can honestly say that in 13 years of marriage I have never sent my husband off to work with a homemade lunch. Sure, this has meant he has some extra candy machine visits or drive-through stops, but how can I squeeze in making lunch for a man who leaves the house at 5:45 each morning? Already I have a house to clean, meals to cook, four kids to home-school, and sometime in there I have to get a shower (really, won’t he appreciate a clean wife more than lunch?) The old man’s marriage advice was fresh in my mind when I saw pictures of layered, jarred salads on the Bountiful Basket’s Facebook page. These seemed healthy, fresh, and most importantly easy. And so, in an effort to keep our happy marriage happy, and armed with an arsenal of salad-in-a-jar recipes, I have decided to try packing lunches this year.

A Novice’s Guide to Canning

Friday, September 21st, 2012

I love all the amazing produce that I get each week from Bountiful Baskets.  As a site coordinator, I see those big beautiful add-on boxes of fresh fruit and veggies and I WANT them.  But I’ve hesitated to contribute for them because I was worried about waste.  The obvious solution is canning.  Let me tell you though, I was seriously intimidated by the whole process.  In my head, I thought of all the equipment, all the rules, all the work, and I figured I didn’t want anything to do with it.  This season I finally gave it a try.  I was so wrong!  Yes, there is equipment, there are rules, and it is work.  But it is absolutely, without a doubt, worth it!

These are my tips and tricks for any other canning newbies out there.  Hope they convince some of you to try it out!  You won’t regret it, especially once you see your pantry fill up and your preservative intake go down!

Taking The Fear Out of Roasting Peppers

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Hatch Chile peppers ready to roast

In the last few weeks we have received lots of Hatch chile peppers in our baskets as well as the 25 lb. case add on. There have also been red and green bell peppers for those who contributed for the fajita pack add on.  The question I have heard over and over again is, “How do I roast these peppers?”

Grilled Fajitas

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

In the 1930′s, cattle ranchers on the vast ranch lands of South and West Texas inadvertently began one of the most popular traditions in Western cuisine. The ranchers would often allow beef to be butchered for the workers during round-ups and drives. Unwanted parts such as the head, hide, and trimmings (including pieces known now as “skirt steak”) were given to the Mexican cowboys. The vacqueros would use these pieces to create many different meals including menudo, barbacoa de cabeza, and what we now know as fajitas. They would slice and marinate the unwanted skirt steak, grill it over an open fire, and fold it up into a tortilla with beans and whatever vegetables they had. Over time, adventurous American cowboys sampled the meal and soon the tradition of using up the skirt steak for fajitas took off. (Only the most adventurous cowboys sampled the menudo and barbequed head and those two meals were left in the dust of comparative obscurity.)

All-American BBQ

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

The summer days of my childhood fell into a pretty consistent routine. Mornings were spent splashing and playing in the pool or running through sprinklers attempting to cool off in the hot Las Vegas sun. Each afternoon the heat and bright rays would drive my siblings and me into the house for afternoon siestas. Of course, that didn’t last too long and soon the cool water called to us and we ventured back out to the pool playing until well past dark. Our large pool was often crawling with neighbors, friends, and extended family. And most evenings while we enjoyed the water, my father fired up the grill.

Lovin’ Lentils

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I am a seriously cheap, ad-watching, sale-hunting, clearance-rack scouring mom of four. My motto is “A penny saved is a BAD SALE!”. So, when I can find ground beef that is low in fat, high in fiber and protein, cholesterol free, grain-fed, easy to use, easy to store, and .80 cents a pound I say SCORE! Now, the reality is I have never found that (in meat form). I have learned that I can get all of this benefit through tiny, little legumes known as lentils. I turn to lentils 3-4 times a week and when BB offered a 25 pound bag there was no debate in my mind- I was stocking up. I use lentils in place of ground beef or turkey in almost any recipe including tacos (season just as you would ground meat), and even meatloaf. Lentils are also a perfect ingredient in soups and salads. I love lentils because they need no pre-soaking (in my busy life that means no pre-planning!) and they cook up much faster than regular beans.

Pressure Canning Safety Tips

Friday, July 20th, 2012

To most people these may look like simple jars of home-canned pinto beans, but to me these beans are much more.  These jars celebrate an anniversary of sorts.  More importantly they are a symbol of my own courage and strength; and a reminder of  important lessons learned.  Too much for a pint of pintos to carry?  You may feel differently when you hear the whole story.