- They're not always brown
- There are roughly 5,000 varieties of potato
- 2008 was the international year of potato
- China is the world's largest producer of potatoes
- Potatoes can be consumed in a variety of ways
- Potatoes aren't just for eating, they can treat aliments, blemishes and ease acne
- Potatoes last a long time if you treat them right
Did it ever cross your mind why pasta comes in so many shapes and sizes?
Technically, there’s no “wrong” choice when it comes to putting a specific type of pasta in a recipe. However, you may find that certain shapes or types of pasta are more harmonious in certain dishes. For instance, the same elbow macaroni that absorbs oozy cheese in creamy mac ‘n’ cheese might not be as effective when served with a thick, chunky tomato sauce.
The more you cook and experiment with pasta, the easily you can figure out what types of sauces or preparation methods are most appropriate for each type. Read more to find out how to use some of various pasta shapes.
Conchiglie: These small shells have a large opening, which makes them best for dishes where fillings can get stuck inside. Think hearty meat sauces and creamy pasta salads. Oh, and of course, this shape is ideal for mac and cheese too.
Farfalle: Also known as “bow-tie pasta,” farfalle (which literally translates to “butterflies”) works best in dishes with chunks of vegetables or meat.
Spaghetti: Carbonara (helllllo, creamy cheese sauce with bacon) is the only way to save it. Other decently acceptable sauces, such as tomato (and meatballs) or olive oil-based concoctions, should coat the noodles completely.
Fettuccine: While “Alfredo” is basically fettuccine’s last name, try folding other thick sauces, like creamy tomato with browned sausage or a classic Bolognese, into these wide, flat noodles. They can take it! Red pepper and nut-based romesco is another acceptable (and encouraged) option.
Penne: Make the most of penne’s ridges by throwing them into a casserole with tomato sauce and cheese for a variation of baked ziti
Fusilli: A windy noodle full of cracks deserves a sauce that can stick to it, like pesto. And tomato sauce and Bolognese and olive oil and... we could keep going.
Linguine: Ah, linguine. Slurp it up with a light white wine and butter-based sauce and a protein. Shrimp scampi, anyone? If you're feeling a meal that takes minimal effort, it pairs perfectly with a simple combo of lemon zest, olive oil, and parsley.
Orecchiette: This pasta, which translates to "little ears" in Italian, does well with other bite-size foods, such as broccoli, cauliflower, sausage, and cherry tomatoes. You also can’t go wrong with a quick toss of peas and bacon.
Ziti: The best choice for mac and cheese (and baked ziti, of course)! Here’s why: Ziti's tubular shape is perfect for trapping cheesy sauce. And just so you know, ziti are actually a type of macaroni, so any recipe that calls for ziti can easily be swapped with elbow-shaped noodles.
Did you learn something new today? Let us know in the comments below.
What Is Turmeric?
- Turmeric, a plant related to ginger, is grown throughout India, other parts of Asia, and Central America.
- Historically, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, primarily in South Asia, for many conditions, including breathing problems, rheumatism, serious pain, and fatigue. Today, it is used as a dietary supplement for inflammation; arthritis; stomach, skin, liver, and gallbladder problems; cancer; and other conditions.
- Turmeric is a common spice and a major ingredient in curry powder. Its primary active ingredients, curcuminoids, are yellow and used to color foods and cosmetics.
- Turmeric’s underground stems (rhizomes) are dried and made into capsules, tablets, teas, or extracts. Turmeric powder is also made into a paste for skin conditions.
1. Helps Prevent and Treat Cancer
Curcumin is the main ingredient in the ‘golden spice’. It will be used interchangeably with Turmeric throughout this article. It has proven to protect cells from damage.
This is because it is an anti-inflammatory. This effect lowers the risk of cell mutation and thus lowers the chances of getting cancer. This herb also has anti-cancer effects. This means it can kill cancer cells and slow down tumor growth. Even the National Cancer Institute sees the spice as a cancer-preventing agent.
2. Strengthens Immune System
Curcumin is also an anti-oxidant. Any kind of cold symptoms, cough or fever can go away when you take it. Curcumin has proven to up your body’s sickness-fighting response. This means you won’t have to worry about the horrors of a cold with this tea. These effects also apply to infections. This is because Turmeric benefits include anti-bacterial effects too. It can fight it a lot!
3. Lowers Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Problems
Research shows that Turmeric softens your arteries and lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Stiff arteries can cause major heart problems such as a stroke or a heart attack. LDL can clog your arteries and also cause heart problems. The studies show that only a small dose of curcumin can lower these symptoms. So even trying a little bit of this spice can make a big difference.
4. Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
Turmeric can be helpful in managing arthritis. Since it is an anti-inflammatory, it reduces swelling in the body. Reduced swelling means fewer pain symptoms. This makes arthritis a lot more manageable.
5. Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a very complex disease. We don’t know everything about Alzheimer’s, but we do know that Turmeric can help prevent it. A big symptom of Alzheimer’s is the dark plaques that show up in the brain. Curcumin has the ability to prevent these plaques from growing. Also, since it’s an anti-inflammatory, it lowers the loss of brain cells that comes with aging. This means that this tea can make your brain stay smarter for a long time. Who doesn’t want that?
6. May Help with Depression
Most evidence on this topic comes from animals. Studies have shown that Turmeric can reverse depression in animals. However, the results look good for humans too. One study on humans used 60 people who had depression. Some of the participants took Prozac for their symptoms and the others took curcumin. Both groups said that each treatment helped them out. Though evidence is still in early stages, it might be worth giving this tea a try for depression.
7. Helps with Diabetes and Obesity
Turmeric tea has proven to prevent diabetes and help control it. It does this by reversing insulin-resistance issues and managing blood sugar.
This goes hand in hand with our next point. High blood sugar can turn into fat in the body. Since curcumin can help manage your blood sugar levels, it can help with fat loss. Curcumin also boosts metabolism, which means you will burn more calories. This makes the spice a great fat burner.
8. Improve the Digestive System
If you have digestive issues, the ‘golden spice’ might be able to help you. It can promote good bacteria in your gut while killing bad bacteria. This makes sure you get the right nutrients you need from your food. This makes digestion easier for your body. Also, because curcumin helps with pain, it can help the cramps that come with many digestive issues. Some issues include IBD, Crohn’s disease, and acute diarrhea. Turmeric can also protect your liver and gallstones. It does this by making more good enzymes while protecting from bad bile.
9. Helps Treat and Manage Lung Conditions
There isn’t much evidence on this, but some studies show that Turmeric can treat some lung conditions. This works because curcumin reduces inflammation, which is what causes a lot of lung problems. Some of these conditions include asthma, lung cancer, COPD and cystic fibrosis.
10. Stimulates Skin Care
The effects this tea has on your skin is also worth noting. The powder can prevent acne, psoriasis, and eczema from flaring up. This is because of its anti-inflammatory effects. The spice can also prevent skin infections from popping up. Wrinkles and blemishes can also go down. The components in Turmeric stimulate skin cell growth, which keeps your skin nice and healthy.
Did you resolve the cut back on salt? Or maybe you’re just looking for a new way to flavor your food?
Either way, there’s one very versatile product you should try: Bragg Liquid Aminos.
This is not your average condiment. Bragg Liquid Aminos is an all-purpose, gluten-free seasoning product that provides 16 different essential and non-essential amino acids derived from non-GMO soy protein. It contains only naturally occurring sodium but is full of delicious flavor.
Use it in place of soy sauce, salt, salad dressing and many other flavor enhancers.
10 ways to use Bragg Liquid Aminos
- Spruce up salads.
- Add taste to tofu.
- Pep up potatoes.
- Jazz up jerky.
- Season your stir-fry.
- Flavor fish dishes.
- Add pizazz to poultry.
- Make a special sauce.
- Add a boost to rice & beans.
- Top your popcorn.
Cooking is easier and faster with the right equipment. Stock your kitchen with these basics.
This list is definitely not all-inclusive, but it’s not bare bones either…it’s somewhere in between. Hopefully it will be useful and possibly even introduce you to something new.
Pots & Pans.
You don’t need a cupboard full of pots and pans to get by very handily in the kitchen. I think most of us tend to have too many overall. All you REALLY need is:
- a small sauté pan and a large sauté pan
- a small sauce pan and a larger sauce pan
- a pot for cooking pasta, stock, etc.
You don’t need a big block of knives. You need a chef knife, a paring knife, and a bread (serrated) knife — these will handle most everything you’ll need to cut. Invest in as good a quality of knives as you can afford, but I wouldn’t go crazy.
A large cutting board, a 15″ x 20″ is good. Nothing is worse than watching your chopped-up veggies fall to the floor because you don’t have enough work space. Don’t forget a smaller plastic cutting board for handling meat and poultry safely.
Some people prefer the one with thin wires rather than thick heavy ones or prefer a solid handle so food doesn’t get stick in it. Most important, make sure it fits well in YOUR hand.
They are inexpensive and come in very handy, especially when cooking with non-stick pans because they won’t scratch.
Microplane graters are all the rage, but I’ll stick with my sturdy box grater. It’s versatile with four different grate options to shred, shave, dust, and zest.
These scissors designed for the kitchen make help with cutting herbs, garnishes and pie crusts just to list a few.
A fairly recent acquisition to my kitchen, but once I experienced the joy of fresh squeezed lemon juice in my salsa and other lemony dishes, I was sold! SO much easier than trying to squeeze with just your hands.
Perfect to “whip” up homemade mashed potatoes although some prefer them a little more “rustic” with lumps and all, so a potato masher is a must-have for that. A masher with a curved head allows you to get into corners of bowls and pots.
They are pricey but you will never ruin an expensive steak on the grill again!
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cook without the right size bowls. Nesting bowls give you a range of sizes, and don’t take up too much valuable storage space.
A MUST for baking. You should have at least one Pyrex liquid measuring cup You’ll also need a set of measuring cups for solids.
Oval measuring spoons fit into spice jars better than round ones.
FRESHLY ground pepper. Why not? You can also easily adjust it from a coarse grind to a fine one. I like that.
A good all-purpose blender of ANY kind is a definite must-have in any kitchen. It can puree, whip, and chop at a fraction of the cost of a food processor.
Slow cookers are cheap to buy, economical to use and they’re great for making the most of budget ingredients. Not to mention the convenience of throwing in all the ingredients and then walking away. What’s not to love?
You can mix BIG batches with ease. Basically it just makes mixing anything a lot easier.
Cast Iron Enamel Dutch Oven.
Enameled cast iron is heavy, heats evenly and stays hot. Its surface allows browning but is virtually non-stick. It can be used on top of or in the oven. And they are so pretty.
It’s ideal for simmering, marinating, poaching, braising, and browning. It even goes from the stove or oven to the table and can store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer!
From – A wife who cooks for her husband and children for over 25 years now.
If you’re getting things ready for an everyday dinner or a weekend breakfast, you might want to know how to set a table properly. For casual events, one needs just a basic table setting: a placemat, cutlery (fork, knife, and spoon), a dinner plate, a water glass, and a napkin.
Basic Table Setting Instructions
- Lay the placemat on the table.
- Put the dinner plate in the middle of the placemat.
- Lay the napkin to the left of the plate.
- Place the fork on the napkin.
- To the right of the plate, place the knife closest to the plate, blade pointing in. Place the spoon to the right of the knife. (Note: The bottoms of the utensils and the plate should all be level.)
- Place the water glass slightly above the plate, in between the plate and the utensils, about where 1 p.m. would be on a clock face.
Basic Table Setting Etiquette Tips
If you prefer, it is acceptable to set the napkin on top of the plate in a basic table setting, though some think this can create a more formal feeling.
Now that you know the basic table setting rules, brush up on your table etiquette.
Ready to start cooking? Learn to decode common cooking terms and ensure that recipes turn out right, time after time.
1. Slice, Dice, Chop, Mince
Your first challenge comes before you even start cooking: learning how to prepare ingredients. A recipe has two basic components: the ingredients list and the step-by-step instructions. The ingredients not only tell you what to include but also how to prepare it. Don’t know the difference between a slice, dice, chop, or mince?
Slice refers to cutting large ingredients into similarly shaped, flat pieces. (Picture slices of bread, onion rings, carrot coins.) Slices can be thin or thick, and the recipe will direct you accordingly (i.e., thinly slice, slice into 1/2-inch rounds). For example, onion slices should be thinner for a burger (you don’t want a big mouthful of onion), and thicker for grilling or frying.
Chop has to be the most popular direction. It’s the most generic way to say “cut food into smaller pieces.” Like a slice, a chop doesn’t refer to any particular shape or size. When you see chop in a recipe for vegetables or proteins, you can assume they mean similarly sized, squarish pieces between 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch. When referring to herbs like parsley, chop is often modified as roughly chop or finely chop to indicate whether the pieces should be large or super small.
Dice means to cut ingredients into square-shaped pieces that are smaller and more precise than a chop. The goal is to make beautiful, same-sized shapes that will look nice in a salad or will cook evenly when sauteed. Sometimes a recipe will specify the size: a small dice means 1/8-inch, medium dice is 1/4-inch, and large dice refers to 1/2-inch pieces.
Mince is the smallest cut. These pieces should be as small as you can make them. Their tininess means they don’t have to be uniform. Oftentimes, you can use a back-and-forth rocking motion with your knife instead of making precise cuts. Garlic and herbs are often minced.
2. A Dash, a Pinch, a Smidgen, and Seasoning to Taste
Recipes can guide you, but they often leave the final seasoning up to you, as everyone’s taste is different. A cup and a tablespoon are pretty self-explanatory, especially once you know how to measure ingredients, but what about those vaguer terms?
A dash is approximately 1/8 teaspoon.
A pinch is even smaller, about 1/16 teaspoon.
A smidgen is so small it’s not even worth talking about (1/32 teaspoon), but you might see if from time to time. It’s often used when you want a haunting note of the flavor, like nutmeg in a savory dish.
Generally, these measurements happen with the fingers. Start adding a pinch of salt from a bowl, and you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
Seasoning to taste almost always refers to salt and pepper and it is exactly what it sounds like, it’s up to you. If you like it spicy, bring on the freshly ground black pepper. Always start sparingly with salt and taste: you can add more. Above all, don’t stress about this instruction! Just add seasoning as you go till it tastes good.
3. Roast, Bake, and Broil
Dry heat cooking uses air, or fat, to transfer heat to the ingredient (as opposed to using moisture). Roasting, baking, and broiling are the most common oven-based dry heat cooking terms.
Roast and bake are actually the same thing. If you preheat your oven to 375 degrees, for example, the air in the oven heats up to that temperature. The heated air then surrounds the baking dish or roasting pan on all sides and remains constant, cooking your food at an even rate. It is usually called baking when it refers to cooking desserts, breads, or pastries, and roasting when it refers to meats (like roast chicken) or vegetables.
Broil is similar to bake except the food is directly exposed to very high heat on one side only-the top side. It’s like a grill in reverse. In most restaurants, the grill is actually called the broil station. Broiling is commonly used to melt cheese on top of a casserole to achieve that golden-brown look, but you can also cook whole fish or char vegetables using this method.
4. Saute, Sear, Brown, Char
These cooking techniques are more dry-heat cooking methods, and they all have the same basic principle: quickly invoke the Maillard reaction. What the heck is that? Just a chemical reaction that browns food and gives the exterior a distinct flavor. The difference between a good breakfast potato and a great one is that crispy brown exterior. That’s the Maillard reaction at work.
Saute means cooking food quickly over high heat, usually using oil or fat as the cooking medium. It literally means “to jump” in French, referring to the constant motion of food in the pan either by stirring or shaking. The food is lightly browned and cook through during this process. Remember those uniformly diced vegetables we made earlier? It’s important that they’re the same size so they cook at the same rate when cooking via saute.
Sear is an important skill to learn, both for meat and vegetable cookery. Searing cooks an ingredient over very high heat for a brief period of time. Unlike sauteing, the food is not moved until it has become fully browned. Searing seals in the flavor and gives your food a deliciously crusty exterior and a moist, tender interior.
Brown is generally interchangeable with sear. When searing, it’s important to cook in small batches. Overcrowding the pan causes the temperature to drop, preventing a good crust and steaming your ingredients instead of searing them.
Char is similar to sear, except it takes everything to the next level. Charred food is not burnt, but it is almost burnt. Think about charred peppers for making chiles rellenos. You can char by exposing the ingredient directly to a flame underneath a broiler, or you can place it in a very hot pan or on a grill grate. Once the food bubbles and blackens, it is charred. If it smells burnt or tastes bitter, you have gone too far!
5. Deep Fry and Pan Fry
Believe it or not, frying is actually a dry-heat cooking technique: no water is used in the cooking process. Have you ever dropped water onto a pan full of hot oil? It spits at you because oil and water do not mix.
Most recipes will instruct you to fully dry the ingredient before cooking it via one of these methods. This minimizes the chance that water will transfer from the ingredient onto the oil. You may want to dredge the ingredient first, coating it in something dry like flour or breadcrumbs, to provide a protective coating. This not only protects the meat or veggie skin, but it also crisps up nicely.
Deep fry means fully submerging your ingredient in hot oil. Since it is completely submerged, the ingredient cooks on all sides and gets a fantastically crisp exterior. You want it to cook just through to the inside, so the interior stays moist and tender. You don’t need a fancy fryer to do this: it’s actually pretty easy to deep fry at home.
Pan fry uses much less oil than deep frying but more oil than a typical saute. The recipe will usually specify the amount of oil (i.e., heat 1-inch of oil), but a general rule of thumb is the oil should come halfway up the side of the ingredient. This method is great for delicate items that may fall apart in the deep fryer, like crab cakes or zucchini fritters.
Braise stands in a category of its own. It’s a combination cooking method that uses dry cooking techniques in the beginning to brown the meat followed by moist cooking methods to finish cooking it in liquid. Braising almost always refers to cooking something low and slow to tenderize tough cuts and well-worked muscle proteins.
If you’re not braising, then you’re losing out on an opportunity to impress your dinner guests. Seriously. People can’t resist the tender cuts of meat in chili, a shredded pork shoulder, or fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks. Inexpensive cuts of meat transform into something totally amazing when braised.
Stew is really another kind of braising. When cooking large cuts of meat (like that pork shoulder), it’s called braising. When you cut the meat into smaller pieces and completely submerge them in the liquid (like pork green chile stew), it’s called stewing.
7. Boil, Simmer, Poach, Steam, Blanch (and Something About an Ice Bath?)
All of these cooking terms involve cooking with water, so they’re known as moist cooking methods.
Boiling brings water to a temperature of 212 degrees at sea level. The water is in full motion with bubbles rising rapidly (and noisily) to the surface. Boiling is a common cooking technique for pasta. Many recipes will instruct you to bring water to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Boiling is also essential for steaming and blanching.
Simmering refers to cooking in a liquid that is just below the boiling point, between 180 and 205 degrees. You should see bubbles forming, but they should be gentle and not at a full roll. Simmering is the most common moist cooking method, used for everything from simmering stocks and soups to cooking vegetables.
Poaching falls in the temperature range between 140 and 180 degrees. There should be few to no bubbles in the water, although the water should gently ripple to maintain its heat. This method is perfect for cooking delicate foods, like fish and eggs, that would be disturbed or destroyed by aggressive bubbles.
Steaming uses boiling water, although the ingredients never touch the water itself. By placing a steamer basket above boiling water, the ingredient cooks at 212 degrees without losing any of its flavors to the water. Tamales are a perfect example of a steamed dish, although steaming is also used for cooking vegetables and fish.
Blanching also involves boiling water and is well known for setting the color of a vegetable. The ingredient is plunged into boiling water for a brief time before being removed to an ice bath. This process brings out a vibrant, bright color without cooking the vegetable all the way through. The result is a tender-crisp vegetable. Delicious!
- What’s an ice bath? A large bowl filled with water and ice. Dropping the food in here immediately halts the cooking process, preserving bright color and optimal texture of ingredients, from peas to hard-boiled eggs.
From – Taste of Home
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup Lantic Icing Sugar
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- (for garnish) 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Whip butter with icing sugar, extract and salt for 3 minutes or until almost white and very creamy. Sift flour with cornstarch; gradually beat into butter mixture, one third at a time. Scrape bowl. Beat on low for 1 additional minute or until dough is well combined.
- Chill dough for 20 minutes. Roll into 1-inch balls; flatten with a lightly floured fork.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place flattened balls, 1-inch apart, on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- Bake, in batches on bottom rack, for 12 to 14 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Cool completely on the sheet.
- Garnish: Melt mini chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Garnish as desired. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
- Store cookies, in airtight containers between layers of parchment paper, for up to 5 days. Or, freeze for up to 1 month.)
The Benefits of Making A Weekly Menu Plan
You will save money. When you make a menu plan, you also make a grocery list for the week. Going to the store once results in fewer temptations and impulse purchases. As you grow more confident, you’ll be able to plan your menu around the store’s sales too.
You will reduce stress. If your family eats three meals a day, seven days a week, you have to come up with meal ideas twenty-one times a week. If your family as picky as mine, that means you also have twenty-one small arguments. A weekly menu plan lets you schedule meals everyone will happily eat.
You’ll save time. Making just one trip to the store is just the beginning. By properly planning your weekly menu, you’ll be able to turn leftovers into entirely new creations, saving you an enormous amount of time.
You’ll eat better. Once you’re not making decisions at the last minute, you’ll be able to think about whether your family is eating an appropriately varied diet. Are they getting fruits and vegetables with each meal? What about whole grains? Making these part of your weekly menu plan improves nutrition, too.
How to Make a Weekly Menu Plan
Rather than jumping into planning every meal for an entire week, start by choosing one meal to focus on for the first week or two. Does your family eat breakfast together in the morning? Start by planning a week of breakfasts they’ll love? Is dinner more your thing? Make the other two meals each day grab-and-go things, and put your effort into crafting a dinner menu for the week.
Step One: Create a list of trusted recipes. Now isn’t the time to test a bunch of new recipes you saw on Pinterest. Sit down with your tried-and-true family recipes and come up with seven you know your family already loves. It’s a good idea to ask for their input, too. Doing so gives them ownership of the menu and they’re less likely to complain when you serve something they’ve requested.
Step Two: Sort the recipes by protein. Even avid chicken fans get tired of eating it for dinner every night. If your list of trusty recipes is all chicken-based, head back to your recipe file and mix things up! For my family, I try to serve two chicken meals, 2 meatless meals, 2 fish meals, and one beef meal per week. Then I alternate the proteins, so we aren’t eating the same one on two nights in a row.
Step Three: Make Your lists. Once you know which meals you’ll be serving, write them down on one side of a sheet of paper. On the other side, make a list of all the ingredients required. Don’t forget to list the spices and condiments, too. Consolidate as you work, so instead of having “1 cup brown rice” on your list three different times you wind up with “brown rice: 3 cups.” This is your Master List for the week. (More on how to use that in a bit.)
Step Four: Figure out what you already have. Look through your cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to find out what ingredients you don’t need to buy. If you’re short on something or don’t have it at all, put it on your grocery list. Don’t be afraid to make substitutions, either. For example, if a recipe for 1 lb. ground beef, but you’ve got 1 lb. ground turkey in the freezer, go with what you have!
Step Five: Post it! Hang your weekly menu plan where family members can see it. Next time they ask what’s for dinner you can point to the list. This isn’t just about saving your voice: once they see you’ve got the week’s meals planned, and that none of them include the drive-through, they’ll stop asking for it as often. You might even find they start looking forward to Meatloaf on Friday or Pad Thai on Tuesday.
Step Six: Just do it. Get your shopping done and start serving meals based on your weekly menu plan. Make notes as needed about things that didn’t work well and what did. Maybe baking a quiche for breakfast on a school day wasn’t such a great idea, but your family loved the French Toast you served Saturday morning. Next time, perhaps you could make a double batch of French Toast and freeze the extras to reheat for school mornings? Or make the quiche over the weekend to heat-and-serve on weekdays?
Step Seven: Do it again next week. Put your Master List for Week One away. Now, go through Steps 1-5 for Week Two, taking just as much care to create a Master List and adding notes about your trials and successes.
Step Eight: Rotate them. Once you have two Master Lists of meals and ingredients, rotate them! Your kids won’t remember they had oatmeal with raisins and dried cranberries precisely 14 days ago, so why go through the effort of coming up with all-new, unique menu plans week after week?
Advanced Menu-Planning Tips
When you’ve perfected two or more weeks of menus, you’re ready for advanced planning.
Swap in ONE new recipe per week. Found a great soup on Pinterest you’d like to try? Swap it for one of the trusty meals on a Master List, then repeat steps 1 through 6. Now you’ve created a third Master List. Sweet!
Double up. Are chicken breasts on sale this week? Buy extras and double your recipes throughout the week. Stash the second batch in the freezer. Next time you rotate through that week’s menu you’ll be able to defrost, reheat, and serve.
Cook once, eat twice. Speed up dinner prep by cooking things you can use in two separate dinners. Roast a chicken for dinner one night, for instance, then use what’s left to make chicken noodle soup. Make a large batch of quinoa to serve as a side dish one evening, then add chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, and red wine vinegar to turn it into a salad. This is a fantastic way to save time.
Shop the seasons. Buying what’s in season is a great way to get the most out of your grocery dollars. Once you’ve made and used your Master Lists for a few months, you’ll probably find yourself ready to move on to other meals, anyway. That doesn’t mean you should toss your lists — you’ve put a lot of work into them! Store them in your household notebook or recipe file for next year, and create a new set of Master Lists for the new season. Do that four times in a row and you’ve got an entire year planned. Talk about saving a ton of time!
From- Housewife How-To’s
There are many special occasions through the year that are perfect to spend time with loved ones while preparing delicious baked foods in the kitchen. Follow these safety tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy when handling raw dough.
When you prepare homemade dough for cookies, cakes, and bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully baked. But steer clear of this temptation—eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be baked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick. Children can get sick from handling or eating raw dough used for crafts or play clay, too.
Raw Dough Can Contain Bacteria That Cause Disease
Flour is typically a raw agricultural product. This means it hasn’t been treated to kill germs like Escherichia coli (E. coli). Harmful germs can contaminate grain while it’s still in the field or at other steps during flour production. The bacteria are killed when food made with flour is cooked. This is why you should never taste or eat raw dough or batter.
In addition, raw eggs that are used to make raw dough or batter can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick if the eggs are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly.
Eating uncooked flour or raw eggs can make you sick. Do not taste or eat raw dough!
Follow safe food handling practices when you are baking and cooking with flour and other raw ingredients:
- Do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter, whether for cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, or crafts made with raw flour, such as homemade play dough or holiday ornaments.
- Do not let children play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.
- Bake or cook raw dough and batter, such as cookie dough and cake mix, before eating.
- Follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature External and for the specified time.
- Do not make milkshakes with products that contain raw flour, such as cake mix.
Do not use raw, homemade cookie dough in ice cream.
- Cookie dough ice cream sold in stores contains dough that has been treated to kill harmful bacteria.
- Keep raw foods such as flour or eggs separate from ready-to eat-foods. Because flour is a powder, it can spread easily.
- Follow label directions to refrigerate products containing raw dough or eggs until they are cooked.
Clean up thoroughly after handling flour, eggs, or raw dough:
- Wash your hands with running water and soap after handling flour, raw eggs, or any surfaces that they have touched.
- Wash bowls, utensils, countertops, and other surfaces with warm, soapy water.
Source – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tuna Melts - A warm sandwich with tuna salad and topped with tomato and melted cheese
Tuna Burrito - Give beef a break in favor of low-sodium tuna. Add a little chili seasoning and swaddle it in a wrap with guacamole, cheddar, salsa and sour cream. Grill the finished product for a deliciously hot meal.
Smoked Meat Shepherd’s Pie - U -Bid adieu to ground beef and try tuna in your next potato bake.
Tuna Baguettes with Fruit Salad - Whip up this easy tuna melt dish for a satisfying lunch or dinner for your kids.
Tuna Casserole with Rice and Caesar Salad -This comfort food classic uses tuna, cream of mushroom soup and peas. Serve on top of cooked basmati rice.
Tuna Casserole - This is a simple, cheesy comfort dish topped with crunchy potato chips that whole family will love.
Bean Salad - Turn a simple bean salad into a protein-rich meal with tasty tuna. Boost the flavour by adding capers, cherry tomatoes, arugula and red onion.
Stuffed Vegetables - These delicious tuna-stuffed English cucumbers are super healthy, high in protein, and a great light meal option.
Tuna Mac and Cheese - A fresh spin on an age-old classic, this delicious recipe features canned tuna, red onion, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and your choice of Cheddar or Gruyère.
Tuna Stuffed Potatoes - This comforting potato dish features ingredients already available in most home kitchens.