• Quick Bites

    Fresh Herbs!

    Herbs are the fragrant leaves of plants that do not have woody stems. They can be annual or perennial. Some of the most common herbs are: basil, bay leaf, chervil, coriander, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, and thyme. Used in the culinary sense and for medicinal purposes. Herbs flavor dishes so you don’t need a lot of salt, butter, or oil. The addition of some green herbs to a meal not only makes it more appealing to the eye and taste-buds, but can also add health benefits. To store fresh herbs, rinse them with cool water to remove any dirt, then gently shake off excess moisture, and…

  • Quick Bites

    Kitchen Tips #1

        When chilled, fresh herbs will become limp and blacken.  So put them stem side down in a glass of water and keep them in a cool place in your kitchen.   It’s easy to make coconut milk if you can’t find it in your local grocery store.  Put shredded coconut in a jar, then into a pan of boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes.  Strain and use.   Adding garlic to a long simmering dish at the beginning of your cooking process will lose much of its nutrients by the time it is served.  Try preparing the garlic as a paste with a bit of salt…

  • The Pantry

    Chinese Cuisine, a little background

    In Chinese culture it is important to find balance and harmony in every aspect of life, including food.   And good cuisine has much the same effect of Chinese medicine, as in prolonging life, sustaining good health, and the promotion of energy.   Chinese dishes, are meant to be simple.  The goal is to create the right balance of flavors and textures throughout the whole meal.  Try to vary the meat and vegetables in each dish, so that there are an interesting variety of flavors, textures, and colors.   Most dishes are meant to be prepared quickly.  Partly because freshness and natural tastes are considered fundamental to Chinese cooking, but…

  • Recipes

    Homemade Ketchup Recipe

    Now that summer is coming to a close…yes, much too soon, I agree… you may have more ripe tomatoes than you know what to do with.  So, why not make your own ketchup?  Heinz won’t mind.   I know that when I was growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, we often had tomato plants in the back yard, and my grandparents always had some in their garden.  As a matter of fact, we never bought tomatoes from the grocery store!  We only had fresh tomatoes during the summer months, and I just loved eating them right off the vine.   It wasn’t until I moved to California that I ever bought…

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