Tuesday Tips ~ 12 March (on Wednesday!)

Yes, I know…I’m late…again!

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

And here is today’s yesterday’s tips………….

🙂  To rescue overcooked meats, slice thinly and cover slices with a salsa made from olive oil, lime juice, chopped tomatoes, onions and chilli.  The acid and oil replace the moisture in the meat.

TT:  Sounds good to me even if you don’t overcook the meat!

🙂  Don’t add soy sauce to the wok until right at the end of the cooking time.  if added earlier it will cause the food to stick to the pan and may give a bitter taste.

TT:  I’ll have to try this next time I make a stir-fry.

🙂  Clingfilm/plastic wrap can sometimes be very difficult to handle.  Try keeping it in the fridge ~ it also helps with finding the end.

TT:  Sorry, but I’m not keeping it in the fridge….too inconvenient.  My rolls of foil and clingfilm, plastic bags, etc. are in a drawer right at my work area.

entertaining guests🙂  Whether planning a dinner party or a meal for someone special, never try a new recipe and/or a new ingredient at the same time.

TT:  Instead, test it out on your family first!

🙂  If a recipe calls for self-raising flour and all you have is plain flour, use 1 level teaspoon of baking powder to every 110g/scant 4oz of flour.

TT:  Tried and tested and yes, it works.

🙂  Coffee grounds, filter paper, teabags, egg cartons and scrunched-up paper wrappers can all be added to the garden compost.

TT:  Raw egg shells can also be added.  Just crush them up first and with the egg cartons, tear it up into pieces.

tomato🙂  Put fresh tomatoes into boiling water for one minute to loosen skins before peeling and adding to sauces.

TT:  I usually score an ‘X’ on the bottom first as it helps to start the peel coming off.

browngrocerybag🙂  Drain foods cooked in oil on an empty brown grocery bag rather than paper towels, as this will retain the crispness.

TT:  Well this is fine IF YOU LIVE IN THE U.S. WHERE THEY ACTUALLY HAVE THESE!!  This country does not have brown grocery bags…everything is PLASTIC!  I wish we had brown grocery bags as at least they could be recycled.  I have a real problem with this tip considering it’s from a UK calendar!  (as a side note:  We bring our own reusable canvas bags when we go shopping so that we do not add to the already-full-of-plastic landfills areas)

OK kids, there you go.  I will try not to be late next week with my tips, but you know, sometimes life just….happens!

♥  Terri  ♥

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Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Feb 19

Good Morning Campers!

Welcome to another sunny day here on Planet Earth!

Here’s your tips for this week…

Whole Wheat Pancakesπ  If you make pancakes in advance of needing them, reheat them in a pile in the microwave wrapped in clingfilm/plastic wrap, with pieces of greaseproof paper between each pancake.

TT: I don’t make pancakes very often, but when I do, I want them right then and there.  If I’m going to make them, I’m not going to eat them later!  If I do have leftovers, then I would wrap them and reheat them as noted.

π  Got garlic breath?  Then try these tips and see which one works for you:  eat some fresh parsley, chew a coffee bean or eat a bowl of lemon sorbet.

TT:  As we both eat a good bit of garlic in this house, I see no need to worry about offending each other.  However, if you’re the only one eating it, then this is a good idea!

meatπ  Fresh meat such as beef, lamb or pork can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days before cooking, but should be eaten within 2-3 days when cooked.

TT:  When we buy fresh meat, it gets re-wrapped in portioned sizes and frozen for later use, whether that be 5 days or 5 weeks.  It saves having to waste it by throwing it out because it was forgotten in the fridge.  Leftovers are usually taken for lunch the next day by Chef P and if there’s still more, I’ll eat it for lunch here at home.  Any remaining cooked meat, such as from a roast, is put into the freezer to use later in stews.

π  Romantic meals should be simple, to avoid spending too long in the kitchen.  Asparagus is an aphrodisiac so makes a good starter.  A pie can be made in advance.  Chocolate desserts are the ultimate end to a romantic meal.

TT:  Don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen?  Here’s a better tip…Pick a nice restaurant and go out to eat! 😉

π  Put clingfilm/plastic wrap over the top of the food processor before using.  It keeps the lid clean, saving washing it and also saves space in the dishwasher if you use one of those.

TT:  Haven’t tried this yet, but really like this tip.  Will definitely try it next time I use my food processor.

π  Massage copper-bottomed pans with ketchup to dissolve the tarnish.  For stubborn stains, add a pinch of salt while you rub.

TT: I don’t have any copper-bottomed pans, but my mom does and I remember cleaning them with lemon juice and salt.  I would cut the lemon in half, sprinkle with the salt and scrub the pan using the lemon half.

Have a lovely day!

♥  Terri  ♥

Greek Sloppy Joes ~ South Beach Diet

“This is not military issue, airman. What sort of uniform is that?”

“Cretan camouflage sir. If you want to blend in with a bunch of drunken Greeks there’s nothing better.” ~ Good Morning, Vietnam, 1987

**************

Good Morning, World!

I’ve been cookin’ up a storm from my new SBD cookbook and the latest adventure was Greek Sloppy Joes.  It seemed fairly easy and I had all the ingredients, which of course, is always helpful.

It’s made with plenty of store cupboard ingredients that most of you should have on hand.  The only things you might need to go out and buy are feta cheese and spring onions/scallions.

To make it SBD friendly, instead of the traditional white flour burger bun, the recipe suggests serving it over whole-wheat orzo, but that’s not something I’ve ever seen in the states, let alone here in the UK.  I did have some other whole-wheat pasta, so just used that.  This recipe is for Phase 2, but for Phase 1, just leave out the pasta.

***Greek Sloppy Joes***

Makes 4 servings

5oz/142g/¾C whole-wheat pasta

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

12oz/340g lean ground/minced sirloin

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

14.5oz/400g can chopped/diced tomatoes

3 Tbsp tomato paste/puree

1/4 C/60ml water

4 Tbsp feta cheese (reduced fat, if possible)

1 spring onion/scallion, thinly sliced

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the beef and break up with a wooden spoon.  Cook until the beef is almost all browned but still a little pink.  Sprinkle with the oregano, cayenne and cinnamon.

Stir in the can of tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste and water.  Cover and let simmer until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 30 minutes.

While the meat mixture is cooking, bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.  Drain well.

Divide the pasta evenly among 4 bowls and spoon the meat mixture evenly on top.

Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of feta and some spring onion.

Serve and enjoy!

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♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 29

Good day, dear readers!

Here’s another round of tips for this week!

Θ To prevent cupcakes rising in the middle, try turning the oven down slightly and adding less mix to the cases.  Use the standard recipe to make 15 instead of 12 cakes.  This will make icing them easier.

TT: Personally, I like the little dome on my cupcakes as I feel it gives them more height.  Who wants a short cupcake?

Θ Make a fruit smoothie to help sooth indigestion.  Use 4 slices of pineapple, 2 apples and a papaya.  Juice, mix and serve with crushed ice.

TT:  Seems like an awful lot to go through just to cure indigestion.  I’d rather be eating the proper foods to avoid it in the first place.

meatΘ Meat is usually the most expensive element of a meal.  Get together a ‘meat club’ with several friends, then approach your local butcher to negotiate a discount on bulk buying.

TT:  I guess this is OK if you have friends who want to do this, but everyone buys things differently, so to each their own on this idea.

Θ Roll whole chillies on the chopping board before cutting, to loosen the seeds and make them easier to remove.

TT:  Can’t say I’ve ever tried this, but sometimes I just leave the seeds in or just scrape them out once I slice it down lengthwise.

Θ Try sucking on a metal spoon while chopping onions to stop eyes watering.

crying-chefTT:  Sorry, but I don’t think any of these gimmicks work when it comes to preventing your eyes burning.  I don’t normally have a problem with this when I’m working with one or two onions as I can peel and cut them fairly quickly, however it can be a burning situation when there are more.  That’s where the food processor comes in handy!

Θ Duck egg shells form late so to avoid salmonella poisoning, a duck egg should be well cooked.

TT:  Good to know, although I’ve never eaten duck eggs…at least not yet.

Θ Make a series of small holes in the screw-top of a jam jar with a carving fork and you have a homemade shaker/sifter.

TT: Good way to recycle, although I think I would use an awl to put the holes in the cap.

So there’s your kitchen tips for this week.

What’s for dinner?

♥  Terri  ♥

Upcoming Food Festivals for the UK

I realise I’ve been a bit slack on giving you info on these, so here we go….

 

Loch Fyne Food Fair

May 19-20 2012

Location: Fields next to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Cairndow, Scotland

Free admission – Farmer’s Market, selected wines and live music both days

£3.00 for parking

Midlands Whisky Festival

May 19 2012

Location:  The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Tickets: £25.00 include a Glencairn nosing glass, bottle of water and festival brochure. No tokens to worry about, just simply ask politely at any stand and you will receive a tasty glass of amazing whisky to try.

Tockwith Beer Festival

May 19 2012

Location: Tockwith Sports Field, Tockwith Lane Tockwith, York, North Yorkshire

Tickets: £10 Adults, £3 Child includes

  • Festival beer glass
  • Beer token
  • Tasting notes
  • Voucher book of exclusive discounts from our sponsors
  • All children’s entertainment (subject to booking and availability)
  • A great day out!

Flavours of 2012

May 25-27 2012Location: Henham Park near Southwold, SuffolkTickets: £6.00 can be purchased on-line or by phoneThis will be the first food and drink festival of its kind to be held at Henham Park
(home to Latitude Festival) and will offer 2 days of fantastic food, drink,
cookery demos and much more.

Somerset Chilli Festival

June 2-4 2012Location: Bath race course,  Lansdown, Bath, SomersetTickets: £6.00, Children under 12 get in freeThe Somerset Chilli Festival will run from 10am to 6pm each day with all things Chilli; food sampling, cookery demonstrations, competitions (inc. the famous Chilli Eating Competition) music acts and wandering performers. To keep you satisfied there will also be top quality food stalls and relaxed bars.

Dartington Food Fair

June 3-5 2012Location: The Shops at Dartington, Shinners Bridge, Dartington, Totnes, DevonTickets: £4, Children under 12 go free.  Book on-lineChef demonstrations, food tents, face painting and many more family activities including a potter’s wheel and mountain biking.*********************

Great British Food Festival

June 4-5 2012Location: Walton Hall & Gardens,  Walton Lea Road, Higher Walton, Warrington, Cheshire Tickets: £2.50, Under 12 go free.  Parking £3.20*

50 Producers, 15 Hot Food Stalls, Craft stalls and live music

There are NO cash machines on site so please come prepared.
*Parking is in the council-run car park and costs £3.20 for the day.

Cheltenham Food & Wine Festival

June 15-17 2012

Location: Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Tickets: Friday £3.00, Saturday & Sunday £6.00, children under 16 go free. Advanced purchase on-line, Sat & Sun, £4.60

  • The Cookery Theatre – featuring demonstrations by leading chefs and celebrity’s from around the region.
  • Food Lovers Marquees – featuring over 200 food & drink producers
  • Real Ale Marquee – taste a wonderful selection of local and regional ales & cider
  • Festival Stage – musicians playing a variety of music from Jazz to Classical to Folk
  • International Wine Theatre – Featuring interactive and educational courses covering a variety of subjects from buying, tasting, grape varieties and styles, from old world to new world wine.
  • Real Food & Drinks Theatre – talks on Nutrition to Real Ale; Cheese to Gin.
  • Arts & Craft – Meet the artists, discuss their work, and buy unique hand-made products direct from the maker. Crafts include fused glass, jewellery, painting, pottery, wood-turning, photography.

Homemade Italian Sausage

Have you ever really thought about what’s in a sausage?  Do you really want to think about it?  I thought not.

The most basic sausage consists of meat, cut into pieces or ground, and filled into a casing. The meat may be from any animal, but traditionally is pork, beef, or veal. The meat to fat ratio is dependent upon the style and producer, but in the United States, fat content is legally limited to a maximum of 30%, 35% or 50%, by weight, depending on the style.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines the content for various sausages and generally prohibits fillers and extenders. Most traditional styles of sausage from Europe and Asia use no bread-based filler and are 100% meat and fat excluding flavorings.

In the UK and other countries with English cuisine traditions, bread and starch-based fillers account for up to 25% of ingredients. The filler used in many sausages helps them to keep their shape as they are cooked. As the meat contracts in the heat, the filler expands and absorbs the moisture lost from the meat. ~ Wikipedia

I’m not a huge sausage eater, but I do like them on occasion.  Chef P usually has a couple with his breakfast on the weekends.  We get them usually from the grocery store…store brand and name brand and also from the butcher.  Without knowing where they came from, you can definitely tell the difference.  Store bought sausages will contain a good bit of filler; the cheaper the sausage, the more filler.  On occasion I also get vegetarian sausages.

I’ve made my own sausages before but now that I’ve got a proper meat grinder and sausage maker that came with my new toy, it was time to make some properly filled sausages!  We headed down to the butcher shop on Saturday and picked up a pork belly which they took the bones out of and some sausage casing.  I was good to go.

I made a spice mixture of fennel seed, ground bay leaf, coriander, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme.

I then set up the machine and cut up the pork belly to get it all minced. I removed the skin as I thought it would be too tough to run through the mincer.  I also removed some of the fat as it appeared to be a bit too much.

I was really pleased with how the mincer worked!  Once it was done, I mixed the meat with the spices and attached the sausage maker and casings. (sorry, no photo as I was too busy trying to stuff the meat down the shaft and hold onto the sausage as they came out!)

Once the casings were full, I twisted them at sausage length intervals and cut them apart.

Voila!  Sausage!

~~ITALIAN SAUSAGES~~

If you have a mincer, by all means grind it yourself.  If not, have the butcher do it for you.  The casings can be gotten at the butcher also and should be kept in water until ready to use.  Rinse water through them before using.

SPICE MIXTURE…

1 tsp fennel seeds

¼ tsp ground bay leaf

¼ tsp ground coriander

2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic

¼ tsp thyme

**********

2¼ lbs. minced pork

¾ lb. minced pork fat

¼ C grated Parmesan cheese

¼ C cold water

sausage casings

Put all the spice mixture ingredients into a mortar and pestle or food chopper/processor and grind into a paste and set aside.

Mix pork, fat and Parmesan with your hands in a large bowl.  Add the spice mixture and water and mix until well combined.

Slide the sausage casings onto the tube, put the meat into the feeder and push through while holding the casings as it fills up.

Once filled, twist the sausages into proper lengths.

Store in fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for later use.

 

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Chinese-Spiced Pork for South Beach Diet

Hey Y’all!

Been busy here at Terri’s Kitchen trying to get myself organised for the market on Sunday.  I must admit, it’s a bit rough getting back into the routine after taking a break for nearly 3 months!  However, I am excited about getting back to the market and seeing everyone.

Here’s another one from the GI Recipe book.  It says to grill/broil the chops, but I fried them up in the pan for 2-3 minutes each side and poured in the marinade.  Yes, it calls for honey, but it’s only a tablespoon worth and it’s divided among four, so it’s not going to hurt.  However, because of the honey, I would keep this for use in Phase 2 or 3.  It tasted really nice and I served them with braised kale and sweet potato oven fries.  And again, I forgot to take a pic…sigh.

~~CHINESE-SPICED PORK~~

1 tsp grated fresh root ginger

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp soy sauce

4 x pork loin steaks

In a plastic bag large enough to hold the steaks, combine all the ingredients except the steaks.  Mix it all up and add the steaks and slosh them around to coat.  Marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.

Preheat the grill/broiler.  Grill 4-5 minutes each side until cooked through.  Or heat some olive oil in a large skillet and add the steaks and cook about 2-3 minutes.  Flip over the steaks, add the remaining marinade and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

♥♥ Terri  ♥♥

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Terri’s Tasty Tip:

Sweeten the smell of your home with vanilla extract.  Estate agents and property stagers who specialise in making homes appealing to buyers recommend this tip.  Put a drop or two of vanilla extract on a light bulb, turn on the light and your hone will be filled with the appealing scent of fresh baking.