Please don’t diet! Just enjoy!

Adkins diet – low-carb or no carb – whole grains – trans fats – will it ever end? It seems, rather unfortunately, that the “world” has turned eating into a necessary evil. How tragic! Eating is a celebration of memories and family! It shouldn’t be a second thought as you’re rushing out the door to work. It should be an enjoyable activity that you crave and savor! My whole life my mother taught me that if you eat healthily, you’ll never have to worry. I’ve always thought about that.

Personally, I am all about the goodies in life! :) I believe in and fully support indulgences. I believe if you crave something, give in! In little amounts, though. If you want a cookie. Eat A cookie—not TEN cookies. :) But, savor the cookie. Cherish it. Think about the butter flavor and try and decipher the ingredients that make it so yummy. Entirely too much of the general public has turned their lives to multi-tasking, including food. Dinnertime shouldn’t include a drive-through and one hand on the wheel, a cell phone under the chin and a biggie beverage in the hand, chasing down the french fries.

Going back to cravings – for me, one rule I have set up for myself: if I want it, I have to make it. Ironic how a craving of cookies will go away at midnight (er, sometimes) if I have to make them. See, I don’t stock snacks in my house. They’re naughty! :) Nothing but trans fats and emotional calories. And more often than not, snacking seems to be an aversion – a way to avoid doing work or something else you’re not in the mood for. Imagine how much obesity in the U.S. would decline if we re-introduced the idea of home-cooking: If you want it, make it! :) Fast food companies would go out of business in a heart-beat – not to mention all those “fad diet” pill companies.

Back to my original point, however – eating is a pleasure!! Please don’t multi-task food – it’s just a sin! :) Happy eating!

I have too many recipes!

Recently, while at Cook’s of Crocus Hill, I heard a student of the cooking school mention probably one of the best recipe organization tips I’ve ever heard!! Sorry, I didn’t catch her name to give her credit for this tip. But, if you find yourself snipping so many recipe ideas out of magazines, or printing so many off websites, she and her girlfriend had come up with a handy method! Simply set a time-rule! In her case, if she had not used the recipe within thirty days, it gets trashed!

To be honest, the idea of throwing out a perfectly good recipe (one that caused you to buy the magazine in the first place) is truly nauseating! But, ahem, after spending more than a week trying to get my kitchen back in order (by the way, the floor is AWESOME), I have decided I really need to re-think my collection of “I must try this!” recipe piles. :) Granted, just because I have the idea to do something doesn’t mean I’ll pull through. I think the greatest point of the idea is to get ourselves in the kitchen and try something new! At worst case scenario, it fails—but, you still walk away with new knowledge and a free space on your shelf for another recipe to try. Happy snipping and cooking! :)

KitchenNut will return shortly –

Sorry for the delays – my kitchen has been under construction for the last week, inhibiting me from any cooking or baking. My husband has noted a small depression in consequence, noting that we should never cut me off from my kitchen again. :) I will return shortly with lots of new, fun thoughts! See y’all soon!

Going bananas!

It seems so often that poor, lonely bananas are deemed the fate of banana bread. Poor banana bread – always the afterthought of the leftover, uneaten bananas. So, what do you do when you have a banana bread craving? Wait until your bananas go bad? And, what if you have bad bananas, but you don’t want banana bread right now? I’ve got a few answer for you! :)

Holding onto bad, brown bananas : Just because they’ve gone brown and speckly, but you’re not in the mood to bake, does it mean you should toss them! On the contrary! They actually freeze very well. Simply leave them in their skins and place them in a freezer bag and stick in the freezer. When you’ve accumulated three bananas, either bake up a batch of your favorite Aunt’s recipe or keep them in there for a last-minute company gathering.

Stuck with yellow bananas : If you want banana bread today, but the stare down of the yellow bananas doesn’t seem to increase their ripening time, try this little tip! While you’re pre-heating your oven for the bread, simply place the appropriate number of bananas for the recipe on a cookie sheet and place in the oven! The only reason we wait until bananas are brown for recipes isn’t to “use them up,” although that is a great reason. It’s because their sugars have broken down and the bananas are so sweet. So, by heating them in the oven for 20 minutes or so, you’re helping to speed along the sugaring process! This won’t work for green bananas–in fact, just don’t buy those at all. The bananas need to have already had some help from Mother Nature and be a nice shade of yellow!

Company coming? To dress up a simple banana bread recipe, try toasting some walnuts or macademia nuts in the 350º oven for 5 minutes on a cookie sheet, chopping, and stirring in the batter. A little cinnamon and nutmeg will also help change up the flavor. For extra beauty when serving, add some powdered sugar on the top and a few sliced strawberries.

Baked From Scratch