• The Pantry

    Pre Dinner Party Preparation

    To give yourself more time with your dinner guests during the hors d’oeuvres time, or even time with your family before your evening meal, try searing your seasoned (at least salt and pepper) protein in a very, very hot skillet, for up to 2 minutes on each side to get a nice crust on it which will keep all those great flavors inside. Then set them aside, covered, at room temperature, to finish cooking them at a later time. Then follow these directions for desired doneness. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Bring meat to room temperature. On wire rack over baking sheet, cook…

  • The Pantry

    Garlic…for cooking…for your health!

    Garlic, sometimes called the stinking rose, is one of the most popular ingredients in the world not only for its flavor, but because it has been considered medicinal as far back to the Egyptian slaves who built the pyramids. They were fed garlic because it was believed to provide prolonged, physical strength. The Greeks and Romans fed it to their sailors, soldiers, and peasants to ward off the harmful effects of the sun’s heat. Today’s health benefits are believed to include; prevention of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, intestinal worms (one of my big worries!), and the common cold, among others. When choosing garlic, pick large, firm, round bulbs with…

  • The Pantry

    What to Stock in Your Pantry

    Have a look at these items that I suggest you keep in your pantry at all times.  It will make your life easier for your daily cooking, and for those spur of the moment meals.  If you see something you never use, then leave it out, and be sure to add your favorite things.  SPICE RACK cayenne pepper  bay leaves  ground cinnamon  sweet paprika  dried rosemary  crushed red pepper flakes  dried thyme  dried oregano  kosher salt  black peppercorns  fine sea salt  FRIDGE  soy sauce  salsa  Tabasco sauce  ketchup  Worcestershire sauce  pure maple syrup  mayonnaise  Dijon mustard  milk  unsalted butter  sour cream  yogurt  large eggs  cheddar cheese  bacon  olives  white wine  CUPBOARDS  garlic …

  • The Pantry

    The Peaceful Olive

    Since the 17th century B.C., the olive tree has been thought to be sacred, and the olive branch is considered a symbol of peace.    The olive is native to the Mediterranean area and grown as a small fruit and for its oil.  In the United States they are grown mostly in Arizona, California and New Mexico.  There are many varieties of olives which vary in size and flavor.  As a fresh fruit they are always bitter but the final flavor depends on at what stage it was picked and its processing.  Under-ripe olives are always green, but ripe olives could be green or black.      Some varieties:  Dry cured (or oil cured or…

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