Right now my refrigerator is stuffed with food that doesn’t
quite add up to dinner: a slice of mushroom pizza, at least one cup of cottage
cheese, a huge pan of rice left over from a business meeting, some mushrooms, 2 bell peppers +
the usual block of cheddar cheese and several dozen eggs.
I really should pop out to the store or find something in
my freezer, but I want to clear out the fridge shelves first. What can I make from these ingredients? Click on the links below for the three recipes.
When making brownies or other dessert bars in a square or
rectangular pan, line the pan with aluminum foil, making sure two ends of the
foil overhand the pan by about 2 inches. That way you can easily lift the
brownies out of the pan after they’re baked.
Some recipes call for saving a cup of hot pasta water
before draining the pasta. Here’s why:
you may want to add at least some of the water to the sauce for extra flavor. Also, the starch left in the pasta water helps the
sauce stick better.
I like trying new recipes, but I’ve learned to be careful
about the source. If my aunt, a terrible
cook, hands me a copy of a recipe she likes, I say thank you and put it in my
purse, never to be seen again. If a
close friend who is also a skillful cook offers one, I try it immediately. I don’t always like the end result, but I’m
willing to give it a chance.
With cookbooks, I’ll test out one or two recipes. If they’re successful, I’ll try some more. If they’re not, that cookbook moves down to a
shelf near the floor of my kitchen and may never be consulted again. If it was an epic fail, I banish the cookbook
to the garage.
When I was a beginning cook, spaghetti was one of my
fallback meals. I happily ate it two or
three times a week. The one thing that
worried me about it, though, was that I might inadvertently buy the “wrong”
kind of pasta.
Use an egg slicer to slice hard-boiled eggs and other foods
into slender slices. The foods, which
need to be semi-soft, could include bananas, kiwis, strawberries, avocados, pieces
of ripe peach, apple or pear (skin side away from the blades), as well as nearly-cooked
carrots, potatoes, beets and other root vegetables.
More often than I would like, Bart and I wind up driving
somewhere during the dinner hour. Getting
a proper meal on the table before we leave usually isn’t an option, so I have built
up a list of dishes we can take with us and eat on the road.
If you have to suddenly delay serving cooked pasta that
you’ve just drained, put it back in the pot and add 1-2 tablespoons olive or
canola oil, stir so the oil covers the noodles and cover. The oil will keep the noodles from sticking
to each other while awaiting sauce.
I like food from other countries. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a Western Pennsylvania
coal and steel town populated by many nationalities. Every summer weekend my family attended a
community picnic featuring dishes from a specific nationality. The Italian Picnic introduced me to Spaghetti
and Meatballs and Veal Parmesan. The
Polish Picnic offered Grilled Kielbasas (sausages) and Sauerkraut. I loved the Flatbread on offer at the Syrian
Picnic and the Stuffed Grape Leaves, Baklava and Tiropita (cheese turnovers) at
the Greek Picnic.
your use of boiling water. If you need to cook raw shrimp for a few minutes, use the opportunity to remove the skins from a few tomatoes and/or make
hard-boiled eggs. Just drop everything into
the same pot of boiling water? The
tomatoes will take no more than a minute. Then scoop them out and pull off the skins. The shrimp will take 3-5 minutes, depending
on size, to turn pink and slightly curl.
Then scoop them out and peel them.
The eggs will take 10 minutes in boiling water and then another 2 minutes
sitting in hot water. Then run under
cold water and peel.