Monday, June 13, 2011

My daughter’s nice rice lesson
Jasmine thought she’d give it a shot. She knew she’d be alone for a few days and tried the “leave me a wad of cash because there’s nothing to eat” pitch. She knew she wouldn’t get far, but tried anyway.
Turns out she loves cooking as much as I do. I cooked her a pot of white rice, and within minutes she was thinking of different spices that would turn servings of rice into different flavors for each day. Problem solved, with leftovers.

Dollar bags
Check out your favorite supermarket for reduced produce deals. My Market Basket has $1 bags of fruits and vegetables, when I’m lucky. I’ve asked and hear you have to go pretty early in the morning. I lucked out to grab a bag that had a carton of mushrooms, a prized yellow bell pepper and strawberries, all for $1. I roasted the mushrooms and pepper with olive oil and Italian spices and enjoyed them as I watched the Tony Awards. The berries went into a breakfast smoothie.

Just a thaw away
“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eazy Freezer Meals” delivers a method as well as recipes that include but go way beyond mac and cheese casseroles. Of all the Dummy books, I figured I wouldn’t need this one, but there’s plenty of tasty tips. Recipes include:
Honey Baked Brie en Croute, English muffin breakfast sandwiches, charro beans and crab cakes with pesto aioli
A sauce like the following can be frozen and at the ready for grilled vegetables, chicken or beef, over pasta with tofu or vegetables on a California-Style Thai Chicken Pizza.

Thai-Style Peanut Sauce
¼ cup chopped yellow or sweet onion
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup grated carrot
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
In a food processor or in a blender, combine ingredients. Process or blend on high until smooth and ingredients are well combined. Package in a rigid freezer container, label and freeze.
To use after freezing:
Thaw sauce in the refrigerator and use, or add frozen sauce to recipes that will be heated.

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