Reduce – Reuse – Recycle

Making hand-crafted food isn’t only good for your body, kharma and well-being, it’s also so much better for Mother Earth! So often I see disposable and or non-recycle-friendly cartons in the grocery store; I feel so sad to see or resources being used and abused in that way. Unfortunately, sometimes it is unavoidable to not buy these products. To balance out my own conscience in that case, I try really hard to recycle everything possible.

Along with this is all the disposable plastic and paper sacks that stores put our food and other merchandise into (and consequently, a majority of the public throws “away” instead of recycling). Well, it’s time to do our part, KitchenNuts!  Baggu Reuseable Shopping Bags They are great for so many things, but mostly to cram all your fresh ingredients to make your own homemade goodies! :D

How to cook without an oven

I absolutely love the Summer! I love the early-morning sunrise, the long days, herb gardens – it’s all great! But, if there is one thing I can’t stand during the Summer, it is cooking and baking! I mean, I still love doing them, but the idea of having my A/C set at 70º, while heating an oven to 350º does seem rather counter-intuitive, wouldn’t you agree?

So, here are my sure-fire methods for enjoying your favorite home-baked goodies, but with a new twist (and, ahem, a few new toys). :)

  • Toaster Oven :: I love my little toast oven! It pre-heats in about three minutes and cooks beautifully. Just tonight I pan-fried some pecan-panko-crusted chicken breasts, then threw them in the mini-oven for five minutes to finish baking. As I tossed them in, I was so grateful that I didn’t have to wait 30 minutes for my full-size oven to pre-heat. It also works great for cookies, cakes and the like!
  • Grill :: Whether charcoal or propane, things just taste better off the grill! A grill heats up in ten minutes, then you can throw your meat on and have it cook in just ten more minutes! But, it’s not just meats – if you have a veggie-hater in the family, for some reason, grilling them makes them taste that much better! One of my personal favorites is to rub corn with Sweet Basil Oil (Canola Oil will do fine), cover with fine sea salt, freshly-ground pepper and fresh-chopped parsely. Roll in foil and cook about ten minutes over high-flame, rotating often. Yummy!
  • Bread-Machine :: Though I just recently posted about this, I wanted to reiterate what a wonderful tool this is! In the Summer, all the self-contained heat of such a tiny contraption can still crank out yummy, homemade bread without melting down the kitchen. All breads are within reach, even for the black thumb of the kitchen. And, with so many choices of type, you can experiment on with cinnamon rolls, wheat breads, etc.

So, turn off the anti-A/C contraptions and jump on the heat-contained band wagon. The food tastes great and more time for your to sit in the sun and enjoy! Happy baking!

A Hand in Knead

Okay, so I’ve been slightly “absent” for a while…but, all with good reason! I have been offered an amazing opportunity to work at a local cooking store, which I absolutely love! Yet, something’s gotta give, right? In this case, it has been KitchenNut for the past six weeks or so. However, along with this has come new opportunity to learn many things about the working and busy people! So, I will get to bring many more ideas for everyone, no matter your schedule!

As part of my quest to find ways to redeem myself (and relieve myself of my ensuing guilt), I have discovered that with the growing technology and all that is available, we can still make homemade meals, even if we are not able to have our hands on them continuously! Enter Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine. Sounds kind of scary, huh?–in fact, most call it “Zo” for short. But, it is amazing! You are able to use your own, favorite recipe, and set all sorts of settings to get that same light-colored, soft crust or dark, firm crust that you love! When bread machines first came out (years ago!), I was appalled. But, as technology has come a long ways, so has their impeccable ability to mimic our hand in kneading bread!

So, if you have been carrying any guilt with you about making your kids pb & j sandwhiches on Wonder bread (trying desperately to not read the ingredient list), consider putting this on your wish list! Oh, did I mention it can make homemade jam, pasta and cookie dough? Life is good.

Baked From Scratch