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REALCAROL's Photo REALCAROL Posts: 5,869
1/5/12 11:26 A

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I like that with the herbs.

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CHEFWITCH's Photo CHEFWITCH Posts: 910
1/4/12 11:39 A

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To save leftover tomato paste, spoon into a small plastic zipper bag, squeeze out air and flatten, zip and freeze. You can break pieces off as you need them.

If you don't want to dry herbs from your garden, put fresh ones into ice cube trays, fill with water or broth and freeze, once frozen, put into a zip bag and use as needed.

If using fresh lemon juice, save the zest. Zest fruit prior to cutting and squeezing and freeze.



The Chef Witch and food psycho


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REALCAROL's Photo REALCAROL Posts: 5,869
9/17/11 10:26 A

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Do you think it is cheaper to eat meatless? Buying tofu is a very good substitute and I do. I am alone so no one else to feed so I was just wondering if it is cheaper Goosiemoon.

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GOOSIEMOON's Photo GOOSIEMOON SparkPoints: (170,840)
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9/16/11 9:38 A

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I always cook extra and rotate the leftovers, sometimes freezing 2 servings for DH and me on a busy day.

I always shop sales and have extra shelves in the basement for bargain overflow.

We eat meatless more and more...love it!

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."

~ Earl Nightingale


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REALCAROL's Photo REALCAROL Posts: 5,869
9/5/11 10:51 A

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Classical music is great for me to do cooking by.

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JENNIFER43935 Posts: 19
9/4/11 2:14 P

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I love to eat my tuna salad that way to. but I also like to stuff inside of a tomato and eat that way to!

REALCAROL's Photo REALCAROL Posts: 5,869
6/11/11 11:47 A

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I created my own recipe book. I put it on my hard drive and on a cd. I keep both up-dated. I just did a big change on it today. A lot of work but I love it.

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JWOURMS's Photo JWOURMS Posts: 750
1/5/11 6:19 A

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I listen to the radio while I cook. Its how I typically get my news as I don't like watching news on TV. Or good music can be a real pick-me-up. I don't mind chopping or washing up so much when its fun.

..you may not be able to really feel compassion toward others until you are able to feel compassionate toward yourself. Margaret Paul


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REALCAROL's Photo REALCAROL Posts: 5,869
1/2/11 2:48 P

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I made my pizza and oh soooooo good.

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JWOURMS's Photo JWOURMS Posts: 750
12/3/10 3:55 A

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Immersion blenders are great. All you have to do is a rough chop on veg. Cook. Wizz and you have a fancy Veloute style soup.

..you may not be able to really feel compassion toward others until you are able to feel compassionate toward yourself. Margaret Paul


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REALCAROL's Photo REALCAROL Posts: 5,869
11/28/10 3:08 P

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I didn`t want bread with my tuna salad so I took a celery stick and filled it with tuna. Yum.

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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
4/2/10 7:24 P

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I have not used it in that manner, but use it for baking gluten free items.
From what I read it can be used in place of cornstarch. It comes from a bean and I wonder how the calories would compare.
Let me know if you learn more about it.


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WALNUT5612's Photo WALNUT5612 Posts: 2,994
4/2/10 5:19 P

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Has anybody every tried guar gum to thicking there salad dressings or gravy??

I woke up from a beautiful dream and found out I was NOT Oprah!! I had to clean (no maid) AND cook (no chef)!!! Life can be a bummer!! LOL I think they call it exercise!!!


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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
3/22/10 10:59 P

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Is it really wise to put tomato products on aluminum foil? I have always found tomato eats through aluminum. But I do like the idea of freezing the tomato paste for future use. Thanks

emoticon emoticon emoticon


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PONDERTHIS's Photo PONDERTHIS Posts: 659
3/22/10 9:52 P

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RE: Tomato paste freezing: someone once said they spread a sheet of aluminum foil or plastic wrap on a cookie sheet, put dabs of tomato paste in rows (1 tbps each?) until their quantity is used up, and put it in the freezer for a fast freeze, then save all the little dabs in one heavy freezer bag. "A little dab'll do ya" as the ad says. lol

Edited by: PONDERTHIS at: 3/22/2010 (21:53)

Anne

"You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the heck she is."
-Ellen Degeneres


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CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,803
3/16/10 9:03 P

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Wow this thread is so great I had to re-join the team! I am a scratch cooker, but have too many teams . . .

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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
3/16/10 8:44 P

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emoticon I also do that, but cut banana into 3 or 4 pieces so it blends well. Keep a small bag of whole strawberries, blueberries and sometimes papaya in freezer to add to bananas for smoothies. When warmer weather comes, I will enjoy more of them.


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MZLADY77's Photo MZLADY77 SparkPoints: (61,001)
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3/16/10 7:37 P

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Hello everybody,

emoticon I usually save my bananas from going bad, what I do is take the peel off, put saran wrap on banana and put in the freezer. I save them so I can make smoothies (using blender)

Intercessory and Warfare prayers are part of my Ministry about 9 years. God miraculous has answer prayers. I know I served a Living God that want to do mighty things in our lives. Fasting often. Like to read Bible, read other inspiration books,
coupon clippers.Always looking for a sale that combine with coupsons and LIKE TO WORKOUT!


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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
3/9/10 10:59 A

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Great Ideas! Thanks!


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HARDWICKS13's Photo HARDWICKS13 Posts: 42
3/9/10 12:37 A

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I do a weekly grocery shopping trip and buy enough meat for a week or 2 depending on the sales. Once home I decide what I will be meal planning and cut the meat accordingly. Then I will place in those ziploc store container the twist lock ones as they are the perfect size portion for my family of 2. I marinade them in what I want and then the morning of the meal I can take it out and walla meat ready to cook that night. Makes life so much easier.

My freezer is all rubbermaids of frozen things ready to cook. I make 2 loaves worth of bread at a time and then freeze 1 before the 2nd raise for the next week.

When I make cookies I save around 1/3 to 1/2 the dough in a rubbermaid and wait til I want more cookies instead of having a big batch sitting around.

Those are my quick fixes for now!

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GRANDMAMAOF3's Photo GRANDMAMAOF3 Posts: 3,373
2/7/10 1:12 P

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I cook in larger portions then put leftovers in the freezer to use in something at a later date. It saves time and money.



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D5ENZO's Photo D5ENZO Posts: 240
1/19/10 1:36 P

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I freeze fresh ginger. You can grate it, right from the freezer and stick it back in a ziploc to keep fresh/frozen for anytime use. I learned this on food network.



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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
1/19/10 12:27 P

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I just started using fresh ginger. One time I read it wasn't necessary to peel before grating, next time I read to peel, then grate.
What aqre your experiences with fresh ginger?


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D5ENZO's Photo D5ENZO Posts: 240
1/19/10 10:23 A

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I love to use frozen chopped green peppers and onions.



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PINETREEGIRL's Photo PINETREEGIRL Posts: 251
1/13/10 8:47 P

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What a great idea! It's great to have a low-sodium flavoring on hand. We keep a tupperware in our freezer that's dedicated to carrot, celery, onion, and bone scraps. These all go into soup stock.
I like to cook one thing that can be used through the week in very different dishes--this week it's a crock pot full of haricot beans. That can go in main dishes, be mixed with vegetables, or turn into soup. We'll also cook something like a roast that can be used in stir fry, quesidillas, or be added to beans.

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KD2008's Photo KD2008 Posts: 824
9/7/09 2:38 A

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Last week whenever I would cut up vegetables I saved what I didn't want to use (celery leaves, carrot tops, etc) and last night over night, put them all with a onion and a head of garlic, bay leaves and a tsp of salt in the slow cooker on high. This morning, I had a great 10 cups of vegetable broth!

Trying to live my life like its Golden


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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
8/25/09 12:47 P

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emoticon I, too, love liver and onions, but only eat it occasionally because of cholesterol. But when we are in Florida for winter, one little restaurant makes the best, so I usually order it there - if we do eat out.
As kids were growing up, we ate liver every Thursday, one pan with liver and onions, and the other pan with liver and bacon. Kept the whole family happy.
Always had cooked spinach sprinkled with vinegar along with the liver. Ooooooooo, I'm hungry for both of those foods right now!!!


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RENA1965's Photo RENA1965 Posts: 17,878
8/25/09 12:37 P

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I like fried liver (I eat i once a week), I do it on a non-stick pan.. There is not alot of fat on liver so I do mushrooms, onions and let the fluids from the mushrooms mingle with the calf liver and onions..
I made a paste of 3 tspns of flour in a little water and season with pepper add this to the mixture and I have a low fat sauce.. Had a few frozen beans so warmed them up in the microwave. Tasty dinner, I used to hate liver..
When t.o.m arrives I have also suppliment my diet with iron filled protein.. I also use a vitamin suppliment so I don't bruise, sometimes I bleed more than even my nutrition can cover. But I am never tired or craving junkfood anymore.. Have not seen silverbeet in denmark, probably too cold to grow it..

"I shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsbility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny."
-google first. ask questions later
¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨) ¸.·*¨)
(***Rena ***)
(¸.·´~ (¸.·* ~ (¸.·*


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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
8/22/09 4:48 P

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emoticon emoticon emoticon I agree. I make up a big box of romaine, peppers, onions, celery, etc. as salad. When I eat, I just add Feta, tomato and dressing along with tuna or chicken and have a whole meal.


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KD2008's Photo KD2008 Posts: 824
8/22/09 1:54 P

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so organized, rena!

Trying to live my life like its Golden


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RENA1965's Photo RENA1965 Posts: 17,878
8/22/09 10:12 A

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I grate and dice vegetables to a couple of days at a time and put it in tupperware boxs in the fridge.. Every couple of days I can just cook a meal without all the peeling, chopping and pre-preparing.
I only cook once every 24 hours, I make dinner for the family, pre-pare my lunch and the ingredients for breakfast..
If I know I have a late evening next day I can have something pre-made taken up from the freezer and have a lean lazy meal without the full blazing kitchen at 8pm..

"I shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsbility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny."
-google first. ask questions later
¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨) ¸.·*¨)
(***Rena ***)
(¸.·´~ (¸.·* ~ (¸.·*


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OREAD_1's Photo OREAD_1 Posts: 1,421
6/16/09 5:26 P

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I have used the "ice cube" trick for tomato paste too. I measure it into 1 T amounts so I have it ready for a recipe.

Dutch proverb: “We grow too soon old and too late smart”

My mouse is on a break! Enjoy!


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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
6/16/09 2:12 P

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Freezing is great. So much can just be kept in the freezer. I keep dry goods in there. Not all of them but ones that I don't use often.

*Carol*



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KD2008's Photo KD2008 Posts: 824
6/15/09 11:20 P

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That is a great idea!

Trying to live my life like its Golden


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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
6/15/09 6:20 P

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Don't see any reason why you can't freeze it. I have done that before. I have even heard of freezing it in ice cube trays so you can use small amount at a time.

Edited by: CAROLJ35 at: 6/15/2009 (18:21)

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MCHER34's Photo MCHER34 Posts: 108
6/15/09 6:13 P

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Does anyone know how to store left over tomato paste?
Thanks in advance.

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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
5/15/09 4:25 P

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Mmmmm sounds good!!!


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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
5/14/09 3:31 P

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Crusty Bran Bread
1 1/4 water (1/4 cup of that water for yeast)
2 Tbsps brown sugar ( 1 tsp of that sugar for yeast)
2 Tbsps molasses
2 Tbsps margarine
1 1/2 tsps salt
3 1/4 cups flour
1 cup natural bran
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
This originally is a bread machine recipe. I changed it to make it the old fashioned way. I bake at 350 and make it like any old fashioned recipe.


*Carol*



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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
5/12/09 1:27 P

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I will be making my favorite bread again on Wednesday. I will post it hopefully on Wednesday.

*Carol*



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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,981
5/11/09 5:02 P

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Debra, tell me what company produces an organic turkey. I have a hard time finding turkey without added salt solution. I love to cook a turkey and do exactly what you just did. I never buy canned or boxed broth because I make my own and freeze it. Not full of sodium and other preservatives, either.


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LANIJB62 Posts: 15
5/10/09 5:00 P

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Is this favorite bread recipe shared anywhere? I love making bread too and am always looking for a new recipe. Too bad there isn't a way to cut back on the carbs.

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LANIJB62 Posts: 15
5/10/09 4:51 P

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They now have small pouches of Instant Potatos. They make 4 servings. That way you won't have a whole box sitting around.

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KD2008's Photo KD2008 Posts: 824
4/15/09 5:38 P

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Debra that sounds great!

Trying to live my life like its Golden


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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
4/15/09 2:48 P

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Is there a substitute for flaked potatoes. I only need 3 tbsp. and I don't want to buy a whole box just for that.

*Carol*



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KARON59 Posts: 204
4/14/09 1:07 A

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I need recipes that I can fez. Im having surgery on friday and I need to have something in the fez.
we can just take out when I come home. Thanks for your help

A prayer To Experience Christ's Love, Ephesians 3;14--21
I boe my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.From Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you , according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you , being rooted and grounded in love,may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and heigh


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***DEBRA***'s Photo ***DEBRA*** Posts: 1,662
3/26/09 10:46 P

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I slow roasted a huge organic fresh turkey the other day.
The skin, bones, some seasonings, and some veggies were simmered, strained and defatted for a terrific stock that'll be used for future soups, gravies & stews.
We've had one wonderful hot meal, a few sandwiches and added it to a couple of salads. Tomorrow I'll pack it up into serving sizes to have on hand in the freezer.
Yes, that was one day of cooking and clean up. But think of all the free time I'll have now. WooHoo!

Sliced turkey from the deli counter cannot compare to the real thing.

emoticon

Edited by: ***DEBRA*** at: 3/26/2009 (22:47)
FRUIT:
Nutritional Information

http://www.thefruitpages.com/contents.
shtml

For extended nutritional information click on the name of each fruit.

Hope you find this helpful.


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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
2/12/09 11:46 A

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I'm making bread this weekend my favorite kind. Not pleasing others but me.

*Carol*



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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
2/12/09 11:45 A

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Cutting back on the bread for sandwiches. Same amount of whatever just one slice of bread instead of two.

*Carol*



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RSOTO10's Photo RSOTO10 Posts: 176
2/11/09 5:31 P

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For easier lasagna: Make the sauce and meat the night before, then build the lasagna without cooking the noodles. Cover the dish and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The noodles will absorb the water from the sauce and the cottage cheese. It's so much easier than having to separate slippery noodles without ripping them, then burning your fingers getting them in place. Bake as directed the next night for dinner!

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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
1/15/09 11:08 A

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Orientating the Oven
You are baking a cake and when you check on it you see that the top of the cake is very uneven.

One side is much taller than the other. There are several reasons that can cause these results. Here are just a few:

If you are baking more than one pan in the oven, you may not have adequate air circulation. If the side of the pans are touching each other or the sides of the oven you can get results like this.

When you poured the batter into the pan, did you tap it down or spread it out to make sure that it was evenly distributed across the bottom?

Your oven may be heating unevenly. You will can test this by placing pieces of bread across every inch of rack space with your oven set at 300º. After a few minutes start keeping a close eye on the bread. Are any pieces browning faster than others? Once your test is complete (before the bread starts burning) turn off the heat of your oven and open the door to let cool a bit. Using a pair of tongs remove the bread and discard.

Your oven may not be level. While the oven is cool grab a common level to check and see if your oven is truly level. Open the door of the cold oven and place the level inside on the rack, then on the bottom of the oven floor. It could be the Oven itself, or it could just be an uneven rack. You can also check the surface of the oven in the same manner.

~Martha

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
1/15/09 11:05 A

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Cooking Quiche
When you are baking custard, the crust can sometimes become soggy.

To help prevent this the next time that you make your recipe, break your eggs into a bowl before adding to the recipe.

Slightly mix the egg so that it is just combined.

Pour the egg into your prepared pie shell and tip the pan so that the egg touches all of the surface of the shell that the mix will be touching.

When you are done coating the crust, pour the egg into your ingredients for the base of the quiche. Continue to prepare as normal.

When you bake your quiche now the egg coating will cook first helping to preserve your crust.

~Martha

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
1/15/09 11:04 A

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Stove Top Success
You are making up a recipe on the stove top, but you are not getting the results that the recipe is indicating.

There are several factors that can affect your recipe. The type of cookware that you have selected may be a cause.

Pans that are too thin will not conduct heat properly.

If you are using too small or too large of a pan for your burner may over/under cook.

You may not be using the correct size of pan; if the pan is too large the food may cook too fast, if you use a pan too small it may not heat evenly.

Another factor that has to be taken into account is the voltage of your range or the gas type used. Some stove tops may heat hotter than others, so a good rule of thumb is to never walk out of the ktichen when something is on the stove so that you can keep an eye on it.

~Martha

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
1/15/09 11:02 A

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Picking Pans
You are getting ready to bake and you have several different types of pans to pick from. Which one do you use?

When you are baking pies and breads, you can use a dark coated pan. This will aid in browning the crusts better.

When baking cookies or cakes, use a pan that is shiny. This will help prevent over darkening of the bottoms and sides.

If you decide to use a glass pan, don’t forget to reduce your oven temperature by 25º. You may also want to check for doneness a few minutes before the timer goes off.


http://www.kitchenhintsandtips.com/

~Martha

MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
11/19/08 11:10 A

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I am going to make my favorite bread this weekend. I love it. My daughter doesn't. She doesn't live me so that is probably good. I make bran bread. She still likes white.

*Carol*



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HAPPYCAROL's Photo HAPPYCAROL Posts: 7,079
9/24/08 9:40 A

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Someone gave me a jar of relish. I've made it before. I know why I don't make it regularly. It tastes too yummy.

Keep an Open Mind and Listen to What People are Saying
Have a Sparky Day!
Carol
MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
9/23/08 7:30 P

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*To make dusting a pan with flour easy and convenient, place some flour in a salt shaker and keep it stored in the freezer.

*When a recipe calls for sifting, it works just as well to put all dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir with a whisk.

*If grandma told you always to proof yeast — dissolve it in liquid to see if it bubbles — forget it. Today's dry yeast is reliable enough to stir directly in with other dry ingredients, including flour.

*To crush nuts quickly and easily without the muss or fuss, place in a self-sealing plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin.

*Add marinated vegetable salads to your next dinner party. They can be prepared in advance and chilled until serving time--an important bonus for the busy cook!


~Martha

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
9/23/08 7:26 P

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*If you want to remove fat from soup or stew but can't wait for it to chill and congeal, drag a slice of bread across the surface of the broth to soak up as much grease as possible.

*Quickly use that frozen juice concentrate by mashing it with a potato masher while frozen, or place can with the lid removed in microwave for 1 minute.

*Double the amount of favorite casserole recipes you cook. Place half in a freezer container for dinner on a busy day.

*An egg slicer works great for slicing fresh mushrooms. Makes even slices in a jiffy.
Before party guests arrive, scoop ice cream into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners and refreeze.

*You won't have to fuss later when serving cake.
Use an ice cream scoop to easily fill muffin tins with the batter.

*Transfer jelly to a small plastic squeeze bottle. Less mess and no sticky jars or spoons! This also works well for homemade salad dressings.

*Use a cooking spray or oil the measuring cup next time you need to measure honey. No more messy process of scraping the cup, as the honey slides out easily.

*An empty salt shaker makes a great container to dust a little powdered sugar over baked goods.
To quickly and easily cut rolled, chilled cookie dough use an electric knife. It slices perfect cookies!

*No time to roll and cut biscuits? Just drop the dough from a tablespoon onto lightly greased baking sheets.

*For quick and easy ravioli, fill wonton wrappers with any filling you fancy. Moisten edges with egg wash to seal and poach in boiling water.

*To save time when making meatloaf, use bottled marinara sauce instead of tomato sauce or ketchup — the herbs and spices are built right in so everything goes together faster.

*If you cut bagels in half before freezing they will defrost a lot faster, and you can toast them without waiting!

*Cut up those canned tomatoes quickly by snipping them right in the can with kitchen shears.


~Martha

HAPPYCAROL's Photo HAPPYCAROL Posts: 7,079
9/22/08 7:13 P

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I had fun stuffing green peppers. It didn't take me long to stray from the recipe. Rice, corn, onion, black beans and spices. Oh boy good stuff.

Keep an Open Mind and Listen to What People are Saying
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Carol
MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
8/7/08 8:24 A

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Here are some ideas for cooking of a budget:

allrecipes.com/HowTo/Cooking-
on-a-Budg
et/Detail.aspx


~Martha

UNSURE's Photo UNSURE Posts: 15,677
7/30/08 12:36 A

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If you have copper bottom pans you can clean them with ketup. Put it on bottom and let set for few minutes and then brush off.

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
7/28/08 8:37 A

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Yeah, me too. And we've been remodeling and such, it's never done. But, no use complaining, as my mother used to say, nobody really wants to hear it anyway!

~Martha

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7/26/08 10:20 A

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That WOULD be ideal. I don't think you can ever have enough storage room, and not just in the kitchen. Don't want to get on my whining soapbox, but I've been trying to "organize" this place for the past 20 years! And our kitchen is one of the smallest spaces.... :-)

"If you fell down yesterday, stand up today." H.G. Wells


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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
7/23/08 12:37 P

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The logistical problem I have with that one is that we have a habit of stocking up on whatever is cheap, and thus we have varying volumes of things that don't always fit in a designated space. We should have a space for and an overflow area for misc.

~Martha

SSUESM's Photo SSUESM SparkPoints: (29,132)
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7/23/08 10:06 A

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That "clean and organize your pantry" is really important. And it reminds me that I have to do my pantry...space is so limited in my cabinets.

I never thought to label the shelves. That's a good idea too.

"If you fell down yesterday, stand up today." H.G. Wells


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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
7/23/08 9:51 A

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Pantry Tips

*clean and organize your pantry regularly

*stock up on "staples"

*keep some items (things that easily go stale or get used without realizing how much was used) in clear plastic or glass jars instead of store packaging. You can use canning jars for this. Also great for bulk and organic goods.

*Lable your shelves so everyone remembers where everything goes

*donate items you won't use to a charity

*have a place to note when items are getting low, so you have time to pick them up before you are out-prefferably you have time to get a sale price!

~Martha

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
7/23/08 7:32 A

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I have seen it-one of the few reasonably new movies I have seen. Actually, I sorta enjoy doing dishes...maybe because it's kinda brianless??? What have I just revealed about myself!?!?!? No, but seriously, to have the dishes done and not really even remember doing them-that could be priceless! You gotta love that! I have 6 kids, so we have TONS onf dishes every day. I guess that's one detriment to cooking at home all the time, but it's worth it. I also believe in teaching them to cook and clean up after themselves, though. Let me tell you, it's a LOT more work making a teenage boy wash dishes than it is to just DO them! And I'm always having to send things back for a re-do. My oldest son keeps insisting that it's really a waste of time to wash the *backs* of the plates?!?! emoticon We can always tell who washed plates when they are yucky on the back when we take them out of the cupboard. I probably will not have a truely clean kitchen for a few more years yet. Not clean like I want. It is just in use too much to be really how I want it, and toomany cooks. My hubby is a wonderful cook, but he is messy. He doesn't make much attempt to clean up after himself as he goes, and has kind of a clean-it-all-at-once mentality. He does clean, but not the way I do, and usually not on the day he cooks.

~Martha

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7/22/08 6:00 P

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yea - love is a strong word :)
Have you seen "The Break Up"? At some point the girls get mad at the guy cause she wants him to 'want to help her with the dishes' and he says - "why would I WANT to do the dishes - nobody WANTS to do the dishes"...
but I do LOVE the resulting clean kitchen


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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
7/18/08 8:49 P

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LOL! That's great! Hey, you only need a small amount of brain-power to do dished anyway! Gotta love that!

~Martha

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Right on. I also love doing dishes in the morning...Well I guess love is a strong word, but my man leaves for work at 6am, so I do them then while I'm still half asleep and then go back to bed! I wake up to a nice clean kitchen that I barely remember cleaning.


My RE-wawrds!
180- A piece of 'reminder' jewelry MET 2-7-09
170- Hair highlights
160- Cartilage piercing
150- Clothes shopping
140- New tattoo, Starfleet insignia on right hip :)

I'm doing this because I enjoy it. Not to mention the
most important reason for climbing a mountain... Because
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BELLASOLA's Photo BELLASOLA SparkPoints: (0)
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Great tips I make homemade meatballs and freeze them but I hadn't thought of already cooked ground beef (what spices do you put in your chili?) - I'm new here but thought I'd pass on a few of my favorites....
My shortcuts (things that don't neccesarily scream from scratch but I'm realistic)
frozen veggies (hey they're still just veggies)
canned tomato paste and diced tomatoes (I live in CO - real tomatoes are just too hard to come by reasonably)
other stuff
my vacuum sealer - great for batch cooked shredded chicken, freezing meats in 2 person portions, etc...
my spice cabinet really takes up an entire cabinet - the one next to the stove so I can reach it while stirring (hey no mixes or boxed goods means more room for spices right?)
my knives - Hubby got em for me for our first Valentine's day back when we were dating :) Use them nearly every night
On that note I'd add - my stand mixer, and my dishwasher (I LOVE my dishwasher)
I do the dishes in the morning - I can't stand the though of cleaning up after a nice dinner (and my firends say I have a unique talant for 'distroying' a kitchen when I cook), but it's a great morning ritual for me to get the kitchen all cleaned up for when I get home from work that night.
That's all I an think of for now
Oh and about the eggs - I've read somewhere reliable - just can't remeber where - that that the float or sink is a total myth - and that eggs are rotten if they smell rotten - otherwise they're good. I had a friend who wanted to throw out a whole carton of fresh eggs because of this and we looked it up.

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LONEWOLF359's Photo LONEWOLF359 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/16/08 4:55 P

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Wow...VERY handy tips! I will be keeping this thread bookmarked! I'm going to try the apple tricks in my potatoes AND brown sugar; I always end up with budding taters and my brown sugar is a brick.
And with the eggs...I had heard about the sink or float trick, but what if it stands up on end? Is it still okay? I mean, I've eaten those eggs without getting sick but I'm always a little leery to...

My RE-wawrds!
180- A piece of 'reminder' jewelry MET 2-7-09
170- Hair highlights
160- Cartilage piercing
150- Clothes shopping
140- New tattoo, Starfleet insignia on right hip :)

I'm doing this because I enjoy it. Not to mention the
most important reason for climbing a mountain... Because
it's there.
-Capt. James Kirk


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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
7/8/08 8:26 A

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Here are some more tips collected from the net. Please feel free to discuss and rebuttle anything you find! #3 was new to me. Anything here you didn't know?

1. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

2. Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle - perfect shaped pancakes every time.

3. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

4. To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

5. To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature & roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

6. To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop-skillet will be much easier to clean.

7. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead-no white mess on the outside of the cake.

8. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato-it absorbs the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."

9. Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

10. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.

11. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness. (ah, an old 1940’s Fannie Farmer trick!)

12. To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh-if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

13. Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

14. Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

15. If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

16. Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

17. To get rid of itch from mosquito bite: try applying soap on the area, instant relief.

18. Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march-see for yourself.

19. When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

20. NOW Look what you can do with Alka-Seltzer:

Clean a toilet-drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush, and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.
Clean a vase-to remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
Polish jewelry-drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
Clean a thermos bottle-fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
Unclog a drain-clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.


~Martha

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
7/3/08 9:57 A

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I don't really care that much about pre-chopping veggies, either-though I would not say I am a super-fast prep cook or anything. I'm nothing special there. But I really DO like having ground beef pre-cooked and frozen. It is easy to thaw and easy to divide even when frozen. I like to use onion and peppers in most things I put ground beef into, so I will often have them chopped and cooked into it before I freeze it. Then you just open your canned tomatoes, add your beans and meat, and you have chili in 5 minutes. My MIL freezes chili, but I think it is MUCH faster to have your tomatoes, beans and hot peppers canned and add the frozen meat-then you are not thawing all that liquid. THe meat also adds quickly to pasta or cabbage and noodles, for tacos or anything like that. The chopping doesn't save me that much time, but the cooking does.

~Martha

MONETTPAT's Photo MONETTPAT SparkPoints: (0)
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7/1/08 4:50 P

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I like making extra to freeze for later. It is really handy when we are in a hurry. I also like to make chicken and vegetable broth and freeze portions for recipes. It is less expensive than canned and much more tasty.

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CHEFWITCH's Photo CHEFWITCH Posts: 910
7/1/08 10:20 A

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When it comes to prepwork like chopping onions, peppers and such, I don't pre-cut anything - I'm a superfast prepcook so usually my timesavers are along the lines of breaking things down into serving portions. I always break down meats/fish into serving sizes before freezing them so it takes less time to thaw and I don't have 4 pounds of thawed chicken hanging around.

If I make a dish with rice I always make extra for fried rice or rice cakes later in the week. I make my own chicken stock (except in the summer) and always have quarts on hand for a quick soup or to thin a sauce down. I also make large batches of marinara and have quarts of that frozen for the winter months. I'm completely out right now, but I've been watching my tomato plants very closely... soon....

I believe in a 'clean as you go' philosophy. While something is simmering or roasting, clear down your counter of dirty utensils and knives and do a quick wipedown. If you've got a few minutes, wash up the dirty items or put them into the dishwasher. There is always something you could be cleaning up or prepping. When I was a sous chef it would really set me off if I saw one of my cooks just standing around. "Shouldn't you be doing something?". Yeah, you should be.

If it isn't blatantly obvious, I'm a kitchen maniac and I'm really a stickler when cooking with people.

Edited by: CHEFWITCH at: 7/1/2008 (10:21)
The Chef Witch and food psycho


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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
6/30/08 8:59 P

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Here's a few I found from elsewhere:

Clean a Little Extra
I may have read this tip on here - I'm not sure - but from my point of view its such a simple time saver I think it bears repeating. If you only have a few items to wash up, and the water is relatively clean/grease free, use the washing up water and a cloth to wipe around your kitchen and adjoining areas - not just the work tops. It only takes a couple of minutes for me to wipe down my window sills, computer desk, the front of appliances, a shelf or two or my dining table. If done every day, you soon run out of spots to clean in the kitchen and can move to other areas - the laundry, lounge room window sills, etc. One area at a time only takes seconds. This makes the actual kitchen cleaning job so much quicker as most flat surfaces are clean and dust free all the time.(12/22/2004)
By Jo Bodey

Use the Crockpot
When preparing a large meal for guests, transfer green beans, mashed potatoes, and the like to crock pots a few hours before your guests arrive to keep the items warm. Then you can wash up all your big pots and pans to avoid having to clean the dishes and the heavy stuff later. (12/30/2004)
By danig1000

Spices in Alphabetical Order
I know this sounds crazy but I alphabetize my spice racks. It really saves time when looking for specific spices! (04/17/2005)
By cuckooclocker

What do you think? Good ideas? You like? Or disagree?

~Martha

MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
4/7/08 8:07 P

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Don't throw it out, throw it in!

That's one thing I do, say, if I freeze a cucumber or lettuce or something...I throw it in an odd place, like chop it up and put it into a soup or casserole, or a "stuff"-which is my parent's name for a dish that is basically a stovetop, single pan casserole, and consists of some kind of meat (often ground beef), some kind of pasta or rice, and some type of veggies-sometimes with and sometimes without a sauce. This is what I grew up on. Spanish rice is a common dish that falls into that category. Anyway, I thought of this "tip" tonight, because I was making hot dogs (NOT homemade, LOL, though I joked), with salad and a "chili sauce", corn chips, salsa, etc. I found, when rummaging for salad fixings, a zucchini that had unfortunately gotten smashed on one end (I can't seem to get my boys to understand that certain things can't have, say, a jug of milk, set on them...difficult concepts...). The zucchiuni had started to spoil, but I cut off the bad spots, and threw it into the food chopper, and added it to the chili sauce. Nobody noticed. I also threw in the cherry tomatoes that were sour and just not good to eat alone or on a salad. So, that's my tip for today...don't throw it out, throw it in!

~Martha

ANEMICA Posts: 224
2/14/08 5:45 P

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I actually enjoy chopping onions and celery. It was my job when I was growing up and helping with dinner. So I take great pleasure out of doing that.

I tend to make lots of food one night, baggie it, label it and stuff it in the deep freeze for later. It's easier to make a dinner that way too, already cooked.
We tend to buy a lot of easy to make dinners since money is an object for us. But I love just getting my hands into something that might last us a couple of weeks. Like I have two tubs of pre-made soups in the freezer.

Disce quasi semper victurus;
vive quasi cras moriturus.
English translation:
~Learn as if you were going to live forever;
Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.
-Front of Sevas Tra
-OT3P


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JOANSMOR's Photo JOANSMOR Posts: 49
2/10/08 9:25 A

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I like the idea of cutting onions and celery ahead. There are only two of us in my household. I have to leave for work at 8AM and get home at 7PM. My husband is starving when I get home (before we married he ate at about 4:30 - he's retired). So I cook meals with 4 servings or more on Saturday and Sunday. Then I put the extra meals into those paper plates that snap together. This gives me at least two weeknight meals all prepared that just have to be popped into the microwave. I also found some good meals that are freezable. Sometimes I put the whole think in the freezer in two meal batches and sometimes I eat a meal from it and freeze the rest. Once a week I pull one of these meals from the freezer. I also love making a quick salad instead of a hot vegetable. My husband loves pears so I scatter lettuce on a small plate, slice pears (fresh), sprinkle blue cheese or feta on, then a couple of nuts and/or dried cranberries. Then I drizzle a tiny amount of honey and spitz with vinegar. Healthy salad my husband loves. No leftovers. I also make a lot of vinaigrette on the fly just for that meal. I experiment with combinations. So if I am serving the same meat from the weekend I can change up the salad and makes it seem a little different.

Yesterday is over, Tomorrow is not here, all you can change is today.


 
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CLRAMBITIONS's Photo CLRAMBITIONS SparkPoints: (0)
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2/5/08 9:37 A

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I agree buying in bulk and chopping up my onions and veggies in advance saves a lot of time! I am going to try the "refresh" thing this week.

 
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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
2/2/08 1:48 P

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One thing I do a lot is plan not just leftovers, but what I call a "rehash". Sometimes it isn't planned, but often it is.

Here's how it works: Let's say I make stir fry on Monday, making extra rice on purpose. On Tuesday, I make sloppy joes for lunch, with veggy sticks (making extra on purpose) On Tuesday night, I make a fish and fried potatoes, with a cooked veggie or two, and a salad. Wednesday, for lunch, I make the rice and sloppy joe over into spanish rice-maybe adding some beans, or stuff some peppers with it. Wednesday night, I make chicken and potatoes, with another veggie. Thursday, I take the chicken that's left, any veggie sticks and the leftover veggies, any rice, potatoes or whatever goes, and make a soup. That's just a random example, but you get the idea. While I'm cutting up the veggies, I just cut some extra, and while I'm cooking something, I cook a little extra. It saves time prepping and in clean-up. But you have to have an idea of something you can put it into. Otherwise, you end up auctioning off the leftovers in a "hodge-podge" buffet meal. :) Or, sometimes they turn into snacks, which is fine.

~Martha

BECCASINGSLEAD's Photo BECCASINGSLEAD SparkPoints: (46,699)
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1/23/08 7:17 P

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The things that seem to help me the most is pre-chopping onions, bell peppers and celery in large amounts then freezing it in 1/2 cup portions and bulk cooking hamburger, chicken and ground turkey then dividing it into 1 lb portions for freezing.

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

"In our lives, we have two or three opportunities to be a hero, but almost every day, we have the opportunity not to be a coward." -Spanish Proverb

"Aim high, but make sure you shoot or you'll never hit anything." My Dad



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MARTIET's Photo MARTIET Posts: 2,400
1/23/08 11:59 A

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What are some things you do to save time, or make cooking from scratch easier or better? Share your ideas here!

~Martha

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