Help Around the Kitchen - January 2013
Ideas for January
Keep warm in your kitchen while the winter weather kicks in. Use your time indoors to get the most out of your kitchen with our best pantry tips.
Legend has it that eating certain foods on New Year’s Day will bring prosperity in the upcoming year. Southerners find their fortune in collard greens and black-eyed peas; cabbage does the trick for the Irish, and lentils are lucky for Italians. Will eating them all quadruple your luck? There’s only one way to find out.
Make Guy's Lucky Collard Greens
Americans throw out a whopping 25 percent of their food. Make a resolution to begin each week by storing perishables on the verge of turning on a designated shelf in the refrigerator. Check the shelf’s contents when planning for the week’s meals.
Find Out How to Cut Down on Waste
It’s National Oatmeal Month. More soluble fiber is found in a serving of this breakfast staple than in any other grain. Refrigerate a large batch in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat a portion in the microwave drizzled with milk and maple syrup.
Make Creamy Oatmeal in Bulk
Wrap packages of raw beef or poultry in a plastic bag before storing in the refrigerator. This will stop leaks from contaminating other foods and creating a mess.
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Lighten up your roasted veggies: Pour a little olive oil into your hands and toss the vegetables to coat instead of drizzling the oil on top. This will keep pools of oil from collecting beneath the vegetables.
The Neelys' Roasted Vegetables
Prevent rust on cast-iron pots and pans by wiping them dry with paper towels before storing. If you end up missing a spot, use the cut end of a halved potato dunked in baking soda to rub away the rust.
Sweet Skillet Cornbread
Once you open a jar of natural-style peanut butter, stir together the separated ingredients before storing in the refrigerator.
Ina's Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Add "apple peels" to the list of items worth saving in the freezer — toss them in when making smoothies for a boost in fiber.
12 Smoothies to Swear By
Save time at the supermarket by organizing your shopping list according to department. Better yet, check if your local supermarket offers online ordering and pick-up. You’ll also save money by avoiding impulse buys.
Melissa d'Arabian's Money-Saving Tips
It's the ideal season for fresh-squeezed juice! Citrus fruit is at its peak in the winter. Roll the fruit on a countertop to break up the pulpy membranes for more juice.
Watch How to Make Juice Healthy
Give pizza night a Mediterranean spin. Use hummus for the pizza base instead of tomato sauce and try out toppings like shaved fennel, chopped olives, thinly sliced zucchini and roasted bell pepper strips.
Make Pizza At Home
When freezing liquids in covered containers, leave an inch of headspace to account for expansion during freezing.
Paula's Old-Time Beef Stew
Invite friends over tonight for a Golden Globes viewing party complete with cocktails and easy appetizers. Stash a few grease pencils near the barware so guests can write their names on their glasses for easy identification.
Best Hors d'Oeuvres: Deviled Eggs
Today is a good day to bring your pantry up to date. Throw out the bad stuff — expired goods and anything that looks suspect — and position toward the front items to use first. Transfer dry goods like flour, oatmeal and sugar to airtight containers or resealable plastic bags along with a few bay leaves to keep away pests.
Kitchen Pantry 101
Refrigerate leftover canned beans by rinsing them and storing in an airtight container topped with a little olive oil.
Save Money: Buy Beans in Bulk
Freeze meat tightly wrapped in wax paper, then plastic wrap to help stave off freezer burn. Keep a permanent marker in the kitchen and remember to date each package and label its contents.
How to Shop for Meat at the Supermarket
Have you added whole grains to your family meals? Swap in barley, quinoa and farro for rice or pasta. They’re easy to prepare, freeze well and reheat easily in the microwave — just drizzle some water on top before you do to keep them from drying out.
Rachael's Baked Whole Grain Pasta
Revisit summer by cooking dinner on a grill pan. Cut back on indoor smoke by trimming excess fat from meats and patting surfaces dry.
Tyler's Fajitas and More Grill-Pan Dinners
Turn weekend baking into a family affair. Give children the task of measuring ingredients over the sink or a large bowl for easy cleanup.
5 Best Baking Recipes
Bagels freeze well, and a little prep makes it easy for them to go straight from the freezer into the toaster: Slice them in half before freezing, and store them with their outsides facing in to stop them from sticking.
Make Garlic Bagel Chips
Remove excess fat from soups and stews: Let the cooked soup cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Skim off the solidified layer of fat using a spoon.
Lighten Up Your Soups
Save your hands: Cover hot pan handles with a potholder as an extra precaution.
5 Common Kitchen Accidents and How to Avoid Them
Nuts and whole grains that aren’t in your regular rotation of ingredients should be stored in the freezer. Both contain natural oils that can turn rancid.
The Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds
Steamed vegetables are low-fat, easy to prepare and retain more nutrients than most other cooking methods. Add fresh ginger slices to the water and line the steamer basket with cilantro. Toss with a touch of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil before serving.
Simple Steamed Broccoli
Run citrus peels and its pith through the garbage disposal to keep things fresh.
How to Zest Citrus Fruit
Maximize freezer space by storing DIY frozen dinners and ingredients (think chili or homemade tomato sauce) in resealable freezer bags pressed into flat, even layers for neat stacks.
Rachael's One-Pot Dinners
Just in case you need a reason to give in to your sweet tooth, it’s Chocolate Cake Day. The secret to fresh-as-can-be leftovers is to store cake at room temperature wrapped in aluminum foil.
5 Chocolate Cake Favorites
Keep healthy snacks within arm’s reach. Cut up celery and carrot sticks and store them in a bowl of ice water in the refrigerator to keep them crisp and crunchy.
Easy (and Healthy) Snack Options
Get ahead on dinner by doubling the ingredients for a casserole and preparing an extra: Undercook the extra dinner (it will finish during reheating) and let cool completely before wrapping in aluminum foil and freezing.
5 Casseroles to Make Ahead
Before chilling pudding, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
Our Favorite Homemade Puddings
Make your own healthy microwavable popcorn: Add ¼ cup popcorn kernels to a brown paper bag, fold over the top a few times and tape it down with masking or transparent tape. Microwave the bag, folded side up, until the popping subsides, 2 to 3 minutes.
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