Monday, October 1, 2012

Kitchen improve and oranges optional

Kitchen improv
Someone peeked into my small pantry, then my fridge/freezer and announced I had nearly nothing to eat. On the contrary, I believed I had enough store for weeks and weeks. Did she not intake the spices of different countries, awaiting to season pastas and grains with international flavor? The frozen vegetables to add color, flavor and nutrition without meat? Legumes awaiting to be transformed into hearty stews?
This anecdote leads into my tip of the week: Improvise. I usually prefer to concoct almost anything over buying it ready made. Imagine my disappointment when I went all out for a jar of garlic and eggplant spread and found it to be just so-so. So I transformed the spread into a “sauce” for whole wheat pasta, added more Italian seasoning, olive oil, cheese and red pepper, and it became a worthy meal.
With that attitude, I’ll always have something behind the pantry door.

Orange cleaner
I’ve got a tool that helps me spiral cut orange peels into beautiful strips. They can be used for craft and culinary purposes and make me feel fall is in the air. I saw a photo of a Mason jar full of orange peels and vinegar. The idea is to let it set up a while and put the scented vinegar into a mister to use as a cleaner. I made up a jar that looked great on the counter and I finally got the vinegar into a spray bottle and it cleans great and smells even better. I started thinking about those lovely vinegar-soaked peels and discovered they are great chopped into a salad with cucumber and purple onion. Talk about a beautifully colored mixture.

Oranges optional
Eppa has an autumn sip. Oranges and cinnamon sticks are optional in Eppa Punch, but the do make the green apples pop. Crisp air and a fall fete are props for Eppa Supra Fruta Red Sangria, which is certified-organic, 120 calories a glass and full of Mediterranean blood oranges, acai, pomegranate and blueberries. Makers say Eppa has twice the antioxidants as a glass of red wine. I tried it right out of the colorful bottle, and found it light refreshing and just right for entertaining. Here’s how to make Eppa Punch:
1 bottle Eppa Sangria
1 green apple
Oranges (optional)
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Chop apples and cranberries and pour mixture into a decanter with 1 bottle of Eppa Sangria. Allow blend to sit in the fridge for an hour to chill and flavors to mesh.

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