Archives for April 2010

Stocking Your Pantry for Success

One of the very first keys to successfully eating as a family and cooking meals on a regular basis is having a good base to start from in your pantry. Having food on hand and available makes this process less stressful and much less work.

Can you imagine if you had to purchase every spice and herb and tablespoon of ingredient in each and every recipe you make every time you make it? The task of shopping just to make one meal could feel a bit overwhelming, much less trying to plan a week’s worth of meals. This is just one reason why having a well-stocked pantry is so important.

Stocking your pantry…

  • helps you steer clear of prepackaged and processed foods.
  • saves you money by allowing you to stock when food items are on sale.
  • keeps food on hand in case of an emergency (remember all those snow days last winter?)
  • helps maintain a healthy diet full of real foods.

[Read more…]

3 Simple Ways to Store Online Recipes

I love poring through cookbooks, especially when they have color photos and richly descriptive text.

But when it comes down to it, about 75 percent of the recipes I use on a regular basis come from the Internet. Betty Crockers of the post-modern world have a plethora of recipes at their disposal, but it’s easily overwhelming.

The Internet is a huge place, so how do you organize all the recipes you want to keep? There are almost as many systems to organizing URLs as there are URLs themselves, so there’s no one right way. But I like using systems I’m using anyway, instead of subscribing to a unique program solely for recipes or menu planning.

Whatever you use, the point is to keep it simple, easy to use, and helpful when you need that exact recipe in that precise moment. It’s such a pain to know you have a recipe somewhere, but aren’t sure where you saved it.

In my opinion, here are some of the most helpful ways to store recipes from the Internet.
[Read more…]

Weekend Reading

For Your Weekend Reading Pleasure (and ‘Thanks’)


My laptop has been getting plenty of use lately. A series of rainy days made it easier to crank out a few guest posts, as well as the usual content for my two food blogs.

Can I just say? Thanks for reading. I don’t usually talk numbers much around here but I see that well over 13,000 of you are popping by on a monthly basis and that makes me very happy. Really.

It’s still a pleasant surprise to find that my sporadic recipes and copious photos of my (ridiculously cute) kids holds your interest. Hey, it even lands me on lists like this, which brings even more readers (and a whole heck of a lot of email spam, apparently. Ick.).

Another list I was super tickled to make was the popular Bullet List from The Mother Huddle.

I didn’t have to think twice when founder Destri invited me to participate and I dedicated my list to Jamie’s Food Revolution in support of his efforts to teach children how to cook.

Kids and cooking was the topic of choice this week. I also guest posted for Kim Vallee, Montreal’s lifestyle and entertaining expert, while she jaunted around Japan with her husband.

Oh, and Ready Made decided they loved Simple Bites:

I’ve been spicing up Simple Bites with my Spices 101 series. In case you’ve missed it here where we’re at:

OK! That’s probably more than enough weekend reading for you! Now get outdoors and enjoy Mother Earth. It is Earth Week after all.

Spices 101: Storing Spices (Recipe: Black Pepper Shrimp)

If you’ve been following our Spices 101 series, you may have had some spice myths debunked, and also may have decided to invest in quality spices.  Today, we’ll learn how to store your quality spices properly so that they’ll maintain their maximum freshness and potency.

It may come as a surprise to you, but a decorative spice rack conveniently situated above the stove is not doing your spices any favors. Sure the row of little glass jars are pretty to look at and the rack itself may be a space saver, but with all the heat, steam, gas and fallout from your cooking, your spices are no better off than the Icelandic cattle living in the path of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano spew.

OK, maybe a little better.

Here’s how to store everything from anise to za’atar.

What Your Spices Should Avoid

No sauna’s (or volcanoes) please! When storing spices, your biggest enemies are:

  • Air
  • Light
  • Heat
  • Humidity

What comes to mind? Can you think of someplace that’s airtight, dark, cool and dry? Read on! [Read more…]