Quick and easy recipes
This week we have a special guest post from The Comfort of Cooking. Georgia, the blog writer for this blog has shared with us some smart ways to tackle your tasty recipes by preparing the ingredients essential to cooking a delicious dish. Click after the cut for ways to be a smart and fast cook with some of your basic kitchen tools such as a citrus reamer or wooden spoon!
Now from Georgia! :
At my blog, The Comfort of Cooking, the recipes I share are consistently easy, tasty and full of flavor. What I want to share with YOU are a few of my favorite “How-To’s” that keep the cooking process simple and guarantee delicious results every time.
I hope you enjoy these tips and try one of them, or all of them, at home in your own kitchen!
Peel, or leave the skins on, and quarter about 3 cups of potatoes, get that pot on the stove to a rolling boil, plunk in the potatoes, and add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar. These three ingredients combined cut the boiling time in HALF – no kidding. In about 15 minutes, you’ll have potatoes that are soft and ready for mashing!
How To Make Caramel
Warm a large saucepan over medium heat. Pour in 8 tbsp. white sugar. Wait about 5 minutes for it to melt.
Stir the melting sugar with a wooden spoon until it is completely melted. Stir again for 5 minutes, until the melted sugar has turned brown. It should look somewhat like honey. Do not burn it.
Remove the pan from the heat and VERY slowly drizzle in 4 tbsp. water while stirring.
Let the caramel cool down a little. Drizzle over your favorite dessert or drink, and serve.
For an easy, all purpose seasoning salt that’s good on meat, veggies, potatoes, fish and poultry, try this: For 2-1/2 cups’ worth, combine 3/4 cups chili powder, 1/2 cup each… table salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/4 cup each… paprika, dried parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne powder, allspice, ground cumin.
Pour into an airtight jar, label with ingredients and store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Keep up to five months.
For a quick chicken/meat marinade, add 1 tbsp. seasoning salt to 3 tbsp. olive oil, stir and turn meat to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grab a stale loaf of crusty bread. Slice the loaf into thick strips. Gather the strips together and cut into small cubes. Place the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Once baked, the cubes should be crunchy and golden brown in color; Place them in a re-sealable plastic bag.
Add seasonings of your choice (I used a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried parsley). Roll over the plastic bag with a rolling pin until you have the desired fine texture.
Store in an airtight container for up to one month, or in the freezer for up to three months.
In a chilled, medium-sized bowl and using chilled beaters, beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add ¼ cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla, and beat until soft peaks form. Store in the refrigerator.
That is all there is to it! There are hundreds of variations that you can make for this basic recipe (add chocolate, orange flavor, lemon flavor made from lemons squeezed by a citrus reamer, almond, mint… ), so get creative!