Kitchen Tip: Cook in Bulk

Here’s a little tip to save you both time and money in the kitchen. Whenever possible, cook in bulk. This saves time by doing a portion of the work for future meals at a time when you would be cooking anyway. It also saves you more dishes to wash!
Here’s a great example: Today I’m making Chunky Texas Chili for our snow day. For this meal, I use 2 lbs. of stew beef, but it was cheaper (price per lb.) to buy the “family size” pack of 4 lbs. to save time, I decide to cook all the beef at once. I have two options – make double the amount of chili and freeze half for another day, or save half the cooked beef for another meal. I decided to save half for Italian Beef Stew. So, I’ll sauté the beef with only the spices added that are similar in those two recipes. Then, when it’s cooked, I’ll divide the beef and store half for later this week. You could also freeze it if you want to use it later in the month. When I need it, I’ll pull it out, dump it in the pot, and my meal prep is half finished. Talk about a time saver!
Often foods, especially meats, are sold at a volume discount. That means the more you buy, the more you save. Sometimes people avoid this because they can’t get over the final price. This sticker shock can be avoided with a little careful planning. Want to learn more about how to plan your menus to save money and time? Join our Menu Planning Class next Tuesday, Feb. 17th. It’s FREE and you can sign up HERE.



Kitchen Tip: Cleaning Burnt-On Pans

IMG_2198Confession: I *occasionally* burn things. It happens.
For me, it usually happens because I have a friend over and I get distracted talking and talking and talking (sorry, I’m a talker.) So, there’s often the added embarrassment of an audience around when I burn things.
This happened early this week. I invited my friend Krista over to brainstorm ideas for our new Family Table ministry. I thought I’d be sweet and bake us some teriyaki chicken, too. Well….let’s just say I got caught up in all the excitement of planning something new and beautiful. Next thing you know, I’m like, “Hey! What’s that smell?”
Ugh. So embarrassing!
The chicken was still shockingly edible, but the pan was toast. And, to make matters worse, it was my brand new Le Creuset brazier from France! I wanted to cry. Instead, I acted like it was no big deal (an audience, remember?) and did the only thing I could think to do. I removed all the chicken and then added the following:
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup vinegar (I used apple cider b/c that’s what I had around)
Then,I put the lid on the pot and shoved it back in the warm oven. It was turned off, but I hoped the pan would steam and it did. You could do the same on your stovetop if your pan isn’t oven safe. Just simmer the vinegar water gently and let set until cool. Then, rinse and wipe.
The results?

Isn’t that amazing? I could hardly believe it. No scrubbing! I just rinsed and wiped with a sponge. Incredible.
Do you have a fabulous cleaning tip for pots and pans? Please share it with us. Or, share this tip with a friend using our share buttons below.

A Spicy Surprise

I don’t want to make you jealous, but…I have the coolest friends. I really do! Tonight I had a friend surprise me with a box of hand blended exotic spices. Now, it takes a lot to impress me as a foodie these days, but this collection is remarkable. Honestly, I’ve never heard of half of them and the other half I’ve known, but never gotten to play with before because they’re hard to find here in America. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! I can’t wait to tackle these in the kitchen next week.
The best part? YOU can try them, too! Rory Girl Premium Spices is a new label sharing exotic and unique spice blends from around the world. Visit their site today and then meet me here next week to learn a few new and daring recipes.