Posted on February 13, 2012 by Renae
This is so brilliant — and so simple — I can hardly stand it (and I wish I could find the article that sparked the idea to give credit where credit is due. Genius woman out there in the blogosphere, I salute you!): mix the dry ingredients for your favorite baked goods and store in bags (or jars). Write on the bag the remaining (wet) ingredients and baking directions. When you’re ready to go, add the wet ingredients and bake. Suddenly a 20-minute + process is cut down to 5. For Jason, this will mean we can have muffins during the week and not just on the weekend. It’s like freezer cooking for the pantry.
This morning I made up two batches of baked oatmeal and two of muffins.
Okay, come to think of it, this idea is no different from those cookie mixes that you buy at the Farmer’s Market. But somehow the idea of thinking ahead for things I actually make (or would make) on a regular basis seems rather revolutionary.
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Posted on December 3, 2010 by Renae
These are things that I don’t always do when I bake (or cook) but that make the whole experience so much more pleasant.
- Start with a clean kitchen.
- Get all my ingredients and/or necessary tools out before I start.
- Clean up/put things away as I go.
- Get up before the kids wake up (unless I am specifically doing something for fun with them, of course).
- Drink coffee when baking, wine when cooking.
- Use the baking time/downtime to blog or read (or organize recipes?).
- Make some notes on the recipe for next time.
What would you add?
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Posted on March 16, 2010 by RT
“It could be curtains or dishes or a [beat] double-boiler!” This was my one solo line in the 7th grade Exploratory Music course’s short recital. Anyone know the name of the show tune it comes from?
Does anybody have a double-boiler hanging out in their cupboards anymore? I have an old scratched one I’m a bit afraid to use, so I modify my approach. I use a small saucepan with a Pyrex glass dish set on top. Just keep the glass dish from touching the boiling water below and you’re good to double-boil your heart out.
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Posted on March 23, 2009 by RT
Reader participation required!
What are your favorite recipe books? I mean, what are you tried-and-true faithful resources for finding a satisfying casserole, an amazing bread recipe, an hors d’oeuvres everyone will remember?
Comment with titles, authors, magazines, websites, whatever you use on regular basis.
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Posted on November 4, 2008 by Renae
Rebecca and I share a love for election day, and we agreed that we should make a holiday of it. So after we each voted, we loaded up the young ones and headed first to Runza, where Liv added an “I ate at Runza today” sticker to her “I voted today” sticker (what would life be like if we wore stickers advertising our activities each day?) . We then had a little picnic at the Lincoln Foundation Garden before heading over to Starbucks to claim our free coffee (they also gave Liv a free treat — a little cup of whipped cream with chocolate shavings).
I think Starbucks is the only place in Lincoln offering something free for voting (correct me if I’m wrong), but if you have them in your area and you vote, you can also claim free food from Krispy Kreme, California Tortilla. Shane’s Rib Shack, and Ben & Jerry’s.
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Posted on November 19, 2007 by Renae
Posted on November 16, 2007 by RT
The James Beard Book Awards Committee has named the following 20 cookbooks as essential for building a culinary library:
American Cookery (BBS Publishing Corporation, 1996), James Beard
Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007), Rick Bayless
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens, 2004)
Classic Indian Cooking (William Morrow Cookbooks, 1980), Julie Sahni
Complete Techniques (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2001), Jacques Pépin and Léon Pererr
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Macmillan, 1995), Marcella Hazan
How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food (Wiley, 2006), Mark Bittman
The Joy of Cooking (Scribner, 2006), Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook (Countryman Press, 2003)
Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1999), Maida Heatter
Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook (Clarkson Potter, 1999), Martha Stewart
Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One (Knopf, 2001), Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck
The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking: Techniques and Recipes (William Morrow Cookbooks, 1996) Barbara Tropp
The New Food Lover’s Companion (Barron’s Educational Series, 2007), Sharon Tyler Herbst
The Oxford Companion to Wine (Oxford University Press, 2007), Jancis Robinson
Rick Stein’s Complete Seafood (Ten Speed Press, 2004), Rick Stein
The Silver Palate Cookbook (Workman Publishing Company, 2007), Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso
The Thrill of the Grill: Techniques, Recipes, and Down-Home Barbecue (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2002), Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (Broadway, 2007), Deborah Madison
The Way to Cook (Knopf, 1993), Julia Child
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Posted on November 13, 2007 by Jason
A lot of people seem to love the chicken I make, whether it’s grilled or fried or whatever. Here’s the secret, though it’s not one for any of the hypochondriacs out there: I simply undercook it. Not by a lot mind you, but if you cook chicken too long, it — surprise! — gets tough and dry. And so I always make sure there’s still a hint of pink in the meat when I’m done.
Sure, there are a lot of health concerns about undercooked meat, especially with chicken. But sometimes there’s such a thing as too cautious, I think. I’ve been doing it this way for years, with nary a side effect… except for the super delicious chicken in my belly.
A few other chicken-related tips…
- When seasoning your chicken, you don’t need to go overboard. I find that a blend of good ol’ Lawry’s “Seasoned Salt” and garlic powder/salt work just fine.
- If you’re frying or cooking chicken over the stove, use lots of butter in your pan. Also, spread a little butter over the chicken when you’re done as well. Keeps it nice and moist, and besides, there’s never such a thing as too much butter.
- Cook the chicken fast, on a high temperature. This sears and blackens the outside, while keeping the inside nice and moist. Keep flipping and moving the chicken around, so it doesn’t get too blackened.
On a somewhat related note, I was surprised to find that there was no “Meat” category on this blog. Obviously, no men were involved in the set-up of “Needs More Butter.” This glaring oversight has since been rectified.
Filed under: Chicken, Tips | Tagged: Chicken | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 6, 2007 by Renae
This only occurred to me recently, so I thought I’d share in case it may be useful to someone else. Although rice is super cheap and fairly easy to make at home, it takes some planning ahead, which sometimes I neglect. Whenever I find myself running out of time (or energy) to make rice, I stop into a nearby Chinese or Indian restaurant and pick up a large order. For less than $1.50 you get enough for about four people (well, unless those people include Jason or Livia–they do like the rice).
On a related note, Cheryl over at Who Cares Cooks found out that some restaurants will let you buy pizza dough. Brilliant!
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