Posts filed under Kitchen Tips and Tricks. Show all blog posts.
Now that most of the chocolate has been consumed, the candy canes crushed and added to cups of hot chocolate, and the pantry wiped clean of any leftover holiday residue, it’s time to go shopping and restock the cupboards with more than crackers, nuts, olives and alcohol.
While we don’t get too fanatical about changing how we eat in the New Year, I do try to make sure that our meals for most of this month are as healthy as possible. Part of that is motivated by making up for how poorly we ate in the past four weeks (puff pastry was a frequent party guest), part of it is because the food budget was blown out of the water over the holidays, and part of it is because 75% of my four person family has a birthday in the next three weeks. So, while the holidays are officially behind us, the days of celebrations are far from over—at least until February.
Here are the must-have pantry items I’m stocking up on this month. Most of the items are considered good for you—and when combined with fresh produce, a cheap and cheerful meal can be had in minutes:
Canned Beans – black, navy, pinto, chickpeas, etc.
Pastas – Whole grain varieties, including spelt and brown rice. Penne, spaghetti and orzo (quick cooking and popular with the kids) are must-haves for me, but any kind will do.
Grains – Couscous and quinoa. Last year, I made a few meals using wheat berries, barley and farro, and they were well received. I’ll try more meals with them this year.
Good Fats – Olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, walnut/almond oil, etc.
Rice and Dried Beans – Brown/long grain/wild rice, navy, black, pinto beans, lentils, etc.
Miscellaneous – Coconut milk, chicken/beef/veggie stock, crushed/whole/diced tomatoes and salsa.
Flavour Boosters – Balsamic/red wine/white wine/apple cider/rice wine vinegars, hot sauce, soy sauce, spices and salt and pepper.
Did I miss anything? What are your favourite pantry items to stock up on for the winter?
Last week I made some caramel for an upcoming EatSavvy recipe. I turned my back for a second—distracted by the kids—and before I knew it, the golden mixture had turned black and pungent. Needless to say, the sugar mixture was ruined. So was my precious Le Creuset pot, or so I thought, until after three days of soaking it, I finally took to Google to help me solve my problem.
Now that we’re all probably baking and making a little more than usual thanks to the upcoming holidays, I thought I would share my newfound trick for cleaning so-burnt-to-the-bottom-it’ll-never-come-off cookware.
For starters, you need no chemical cleaners for this—just water and baking soda. Fill the pot with one or two inches of water and add a large amount of baking soda, enough to thoroughly cover the bottom of the pot. Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Let it boil for 2–3 minutes and you’ll see the leftover burnt bits begin to peel themselves (see in the first photo) from the bottom of the pot. Drain the water and wipe out the bottom of the pot with some paper towel. All of the charred material should wipe away—and if it doesn’t, just give it a little scrub with some soap and water.
Have you ever burnt your pots and pans? How did you get them clean?