Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Mar 5

What a gorgeous day we have here today in southern England!  The sun has been shining brightly most of the day, albeit it’s a tad on the cool side.  Come on, Spring!

Here are today’s tips.  Has anyone tried any of the past tips yet?  Would love to hear your comments or experiences.

 

ξ  Cheat with a ready meal (once in a while), but add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of olive oil to pep up the flavors.

TT:  Sorry, but no.  I don’t touch ready meals and haven’t eaten one in nearly 8 years.  I can add fresh herbs and lemon juice just as easily to freshly prepared food and prefer to do just that!

sponge

 

ξ  Heat dish cloths or sponges in a microwave for 30-40 seconds to kill all bacteria.

TT:  I prefer using a sponge over a dish cloth.  All my dish towels, rags, counter wipe cloths, etc. are put into the hamper at the end of each day and are washed in temps of 60°c(140°f) or above with bleach added every second or third wash.  The sponge is replaced every other week.

 

 

ξ  Before squeezing citrus fruits for recipes, microwave 15-30 seconds to double the amount of juice you get.

TT:  This absolutely does work!  Cut the fruit in half first before microwaving.  I zap a lemon for 30 seconds and it’s just enough.

ξ  Wrap celery in foil before storing in the fridge.  It will keep for weeks.

TT:  Can’t say that I’ve ever tried this as we go through a good bit of celery so usually end up buying it every other week.  It doesn’t get a chance to go bad!

AHrefrigeratorξ  Sprinkle empty waste baskets and kitchen bins with a little baking soda/bicarbonate of soda from time to time to absorb any lingering smells and odors.  Pour the old baking soda down the kitchen drain to keep it sweet smelling.

TT:  I do this all the time and it does appear to help.

ξ  Certain varieties of potato can go gluey when mashed.  This can happen as a result of using cold milk.  Instead, try warming the milk before adding and grate some nutmeg over top for a touch of added flavor.

TT:  I usually get the milk out ahead of time so it’s not actually cold, but it’s room temp.  Nutmeg on taters is yummy!

Your kitchen tips for the week!

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

 

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Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ 26 Feb

sorry-im-lateYes, yes, I know….it’s Wednesday and I’m a day late.  Better late than never, they always say!

Without further adieu….

Φ  To stop a pan boiling over, insert a wooden toothpick between the pan and the lid.

TT:  Personally, I think this is a waste of a toothpick and also, there’s the possibility of the toothpick falling into the pan if you happen to forget that it’s there.  Or worse, if you have a gas stove as we do, it falls out and under the pan and starts a fire!  I usually just cock the lid up a bit when putting it on to allow some of the steam to escape.

Φ  It’s simple to stop cabbage smells while cooking ~ don’t overcook it and don’t cover the pot with a lid.

TT:  We cook a good bit of cabbage but never seem to have a problem with smells.  Perhaps because we usually add other flavorings to the pan so we smell the flavorings instead.  I always have the lid on too.

greenpotatoΦ  Cut any green parts of a potato away before cooking ~ the green part contains an unpleasant-tasting poison called solanine.  It won’t kill you, but you’re better off without it.

TT:  I ALWAYS do this!  Who wants to eat green potato anyway?  Unless you’re Dr. Seuss!  Oh wait, that was green eggs…. 🙂

Φ  When heating cream, use a heavy-based saucepan and a low gentle heat, allowing the cream to come to a simmer slowly.  Avoid boiling rapidly.

TT:  I don’t cook with cream very much except if I’m making a dessert.  However, I do follow this mantra and heat it up gently.

Φ  Clean a stainless steel sink by wiping with a bit of pasty toothpaste (gel won’t work).  Rub in then rinse well (for a sparkling sink with fresh breath!)

TT:  You can also use baking soda and get the same results.

FrostedFreezerΦ  Defrost your freezer when the layer of ice inside has reached a thickness of 1cm (1/3 inch).  Switch off the freezer, remove the food and thaw the freezer.  Run the freezer for 1/2 an hour before refilling.

TT:  I think it’s time for me to defrost the freezer….

Φ  When cooking pasta, use as big a pan as possible to prevent sticking as it needs room to move around freely.  Don’t add the pasta until the water is boiling rapidly.

TT:  I do this all the time.  Make sure you stir the pasta occasionally while cooking and add salt to the water before you add the pasta.

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So there you go, your kitchen tips for the week!

♥  Terri  ♥

Friday Foodie Word ~ HAGGIS

Ode to the Haggis:

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.

As it’s Burn’s Night, I thought it be fitting to pay tribute to the guest of honor and have today’s foodie be…..

HAGGIS

haggis1

Scotland ~ A sausage made from the minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep mixed with oatmeal, suet, minced onion, spices, herbs and seasoning, all encased in a sheep’s stomach and boiled prior to being served hot.

Nowadays more commonly stuffed in a plastic casing.  Traditionally served at Burns’ night suppers with tatties (potatoes) and neeps (turnips)*see bottom and washed down with an excess of whiskey, while Burns’ Ode to the Haggis is recited with due ceremony.

I did a post on Burn’s Night last year and you can read more about it here .

Unfortunately, authentic Scottish haggis has been banned in the United States since 1971, when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) first took a dim view of one of its key ingredients – sheep’s lung.

While millions of people around the world will enjoy a Burns Night helping tonight, those in the US who want to celebrate Scotland’s national bard in the traditional manner are compelled to improvise.

Some choose to stage offal-free Burns suppers, and for most people not raised in Scotland, the absence of the dish might be no great hardship.  But for many expat Scots and Scots-Americans, the notion of Burns Supper without haggis is as unthinkable as Thanksgiving without turkey.

Meanwhile, butchers in the US have tried, and failed, to make their own versions of the pudding without using the vital ingredient: sheep. “It was a silly ban which meant a lot of people have never tasted the real thing,” said Margaret Frost, of the Scottish American Society in Ohio. “We have had to put up with the US version, which is made from beef and is bloody awful.”

So even if you’re not able to tuck into haggis tonight, enjoy your dinner and evening.  After all, you can still enjoy a wee nip of whiskey!

*Chef P just got home and told me he read my blog today…and also corrected me.  Neeps are turnips, not parsnips!  I seem to have a brain fart when it comes to that!

♥  Terri  ♥

You’ll Never Know who You’ll Find in There!

Good Day Dear Readers!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend as we had a four-day weekend as Chef P took off on Friday and also yesterday.  We did the rounds of Thanet on Friday:  Cliftonville for the kitty food and litter, Ramsgate to the Asian store for noodles, the Green grocer for garlic and chili peppers and  Lidl for fresh veg, then to the farm shop for potatoes and cherries (for mum) and then to Tesco for the bulk of the shopping.

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We picked up our usual 12.5kg/27.5lb bag of potatoes (for a whopping £1.50/$2.27).  Chef P made shepherd’s pie on Sunday and as he was pulling potatoes out of the bag, look who was hiding inside…

It’s a Jimmy Durante Mr. Potato Head!

For you youngsters who don’t know who Mr. Durante is, here’s his picture…

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Hey, I’ve just recently joined Pinterest, so please click on my button over on the right to follow me!

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Chef P took the day off yesterday, so we headed over to Canterbury again.  This is the third time in about as many months.  We stopped for lunch at the Forge Restaurant in Nason’s Department Store and had quite a healthy lunch, although I didn’t take any pictures.  I had an open-faced sandwich of turkey, apple slices and cole slaw on whole wheat bread with a nice little side salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber and a cup of green tea.

We also stopped in Whittard’s of Chelsea which are the purveyors of fine teas since around 1836 and got myself a box of Gunpowder Green Tea Leaves.

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And here’s a lovely shot of my beautiful lillies that I have out in the front of the house.  I’ve been quite lucky this year that the lily beetles didn’t get to them as badly as they have in the past.  I managed to squash a good many of them this year and I think all the rain kept them away too.

Lovely Lilies

Just a quiet day here at Terri’s Kitchen, so until next time…

♥ Terri  ♥♥