No Crust Pizza Bake

No Crust Pizza Bake
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded Italian Style Cheese (divided)
  • ½ Cup pizza sauce
  • 1½ cup of diced Canadian Bacon
  • 1 cup pepperoni
  • ½ cup of chopped onion
  • ½ cup of chopped bell peppers.. I use all colors
  • 1 small can of sliced olives
  • You can really add or take away anything you like as a topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook your ground beef, drain
  3. Put your meat and 1 cup of your shredded cheese in a bowl and mix well
  4. Spread the mixture on a pan or pizza stone
  5. Top with Pizza sauce , then with add all your toppings and the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for 25 min. or until cheese is melted
  7. Enjoy~

 

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Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 6 TB apple cider Vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 4 tsp. corn starch
  • 4 tsp. cold water
  • Cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in crock pot on low heat.
  2. Combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and pepper in a separate bowl. Mix and pour over the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and take the fat out of the reserve liquid in the crock pot.
  4. Place liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth and gradually stir into saucepan until it is thick.
  6. Pour chicken over cooked rice and cover with your sauce. ENJOY!

 

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Chicken Broccoli Bake

Chicken Broccoli Bake
 
Ingredients
  • 10 oz. macaroni noodles
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked into bite size pieces
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans condensed cream of broccoli soup
  • 2 8 oz. sour cream
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • 16 oz. frozen broccoli, thawed, cooked and drained
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tbps. melted butter
Instructions
  1. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook noodles and broccoli.
  3. Cook cut up chicken, transfer to large bowl when no longer pink.
  4. Add mushrooms, and red pepper to skillet and cook until tender. Transfer to bowl with chicken when done.
  5. Stir in soup, sour cream, and broth. Gently stir in noodles and broccoli.
  6. Spoon entire mixture into casserole dish.
  7. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter, sprinkle over chicken mixture.
  8. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

 

1. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook noodles and broccoli.
3. Cook cut up chicken, transfer to large bowl when no longer pink.
4. Add mushrooms, and red pepper to skillet and cook until tender. Transfer to bowl with chicken when done.
5. Stir in soup, sour cream, and broth. Gently stir in noodles and broccoli.
6. Spoon entire mixture into casserole dish.
7. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter, sprinkle over chicken mixture.
8. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

 

Sophia’s Cajun-Style Beans with Rice

Sophia's Cajun-Style Beans with Rice
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ c stewed tomatoes
  • 1 - 28 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • ½ orange pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced
  • 2½ t Cajun spice
  • 4 c cooked rice
  • ½ t olive oil
  • ½ c shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat small pan to medium-high, add oil and sauté onions and peppers until soft; set aside.
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a large baking pan/casserole dish and stir until well blended.
  4. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat, remove cover, sprinkle on cheese and leave in oven for 5 more minutes.
  6. Enjoy!!!

 

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Weight loss tips

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

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Lazy Dazy Cake

 

Lazy Dazy Cake

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup boiling milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 stick butter

Beat eggs for 3 minutes on high, add sugar and vanilla then beat until fluffy.
Sift together the baking powder, salt and flour. Then add to sugar mixture and mixing well.
Add the boiling milk with melted butter to the batter, Pouring a little at a time while beating.
Bake in a greased 8 x 8 dish at 350 about 25 minutes.

Boiled Topping
5 T butter melted
8 T cream
18 T brown sugar
1 cup coconut
Mix all ingredients in saucepan on medium heat until smooth, then pour over cake right out of the oven.
Put back in oven and broil for 3-5 minutes.
Enjoy!

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CREAM CHEESE SAUSAGE BALLS

CREAM CHEESE SAUSAGE BALLS
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb hot sausage, uncooked
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1¼ cups Bisquick
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Mix all ingredients until well combined. (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook attachment) Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brown.
  3. Sausage balls may be frozen uncooked. If baking frozen, add a few minutes to the baking time.

 

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CREAMY STRAWBERRY DREAM CAKE

CREAMY STRAWBERRY DREAM CAKE
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 3 pints strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil, along with the amount of water called for by the package directions.
  3. Beat until well combined. Divide the batter between the pans.
  4. Place in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  5. Let the cakes cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pans.
  6. Cool completely before assembling the shortcake.
  7. Meanwhile, sprinkle ½ of the sugar over the strawberries.
  8. Set aside at room temperature until the berries release their juices, about 30 minutes.
  9. About 15 minutes before serving, combine the cream and the remaining sugar in a medium bowl and whip by hand or with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  10. Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter.
  11. Pile on half the strawberries and half the whipped cream.
  12. Top with the remaining layer, the rest of the whipped cream, and the remaining strawberries. Serve immediately.

 

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Blueberry Bread

Blueberry Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups self rising flour (or 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 3 tsp baking powder)
  • ¾ cup sugar or Truvia Baking Blend
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1¼ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries (whole)
Instructions
  1. cups self rising flour (or 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 3 tsp baking powder)
  2. /4 cup sugar or Truvia Baking Blend
  3. egg (beaten)
  4. /4 cup milk
  5. Tbsp butter (melted)
  6. /2 tsp vanilla
  7. /2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries (whole)

 

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Apple Rose Bites

 

Apple Rose Bites
These are so easy and cute!!
WHAT TO DO->
Choose an apple with a nicely coloured skin
Cut apple through horizontally
Slice apple thinly with mandolin into 1/2 circles
Bring to boil 3 cups of water with 1/4 cup of sugar
Drop apple slices into enough water to cover
Simmer 3-4 minutes until soft and pliable
Drop into cold bath to stop cooking.
Make single pie crust recipe or use frozen
( I used the one on the Crisco can) roll out into thin rectangle
Cut into strips approx. 6 inches long and 1-1 1/2 inches wide
Place apple slices across the edge of the dough and roll
set into mini muffin cups
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 325 F
Enjoy!
Can sprinkle with a bit of sugar if you like

 

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Magic Cookie Bars!!!

Magic Cookie Bars!!!

Gluten and Sugar FREE!

Annies notes: I have always loved these, well,.. the unhealthy ones. I found a recipe that is healthy and won’t put my weight loss to stall! While baking these, they smelled just like the old bars, and these taste a bit better too!

Ingredients
Crust:
1 3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup truvia
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp molasses
1/4 cup butter, melted
Topping:
1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips
3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 recipe low carb sweetened condensed milk (recipe below)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F.
For the crust, Mix together almond flour, truvia and coconut flour. Add melted butter and molasses and mix till crumbly. Pat in the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Bake crust for 12 minutes, or until it begins to brown around the edges. Remove and let cool.
Increase oven temperature to 350F.
Sprinkle cooled crust with chopped chocolate, coconut and nuts. Pour sweetened condensed milk over top and bake for 20-25 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and beginning to brown.
Let cool and cut into 24 bars.

Ingredients
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup truvia or desired sweetener
1 Tbsp butter
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup truvia or desired sweetener to taste
Instructions:
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine cream, milk and 1/2 cup truvia over medium heat.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring often, until mixture is reduce by half. Do not scrape the sides of the pot where dried milk is, it will make the condensed milk gritty.
Add butter and whisk till melted, then whisk in xanthan gum. Let mixture cool to room temperature and stir in vanilla and sweetener.

 

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No-Churn Salted Caramel & Pecan Ice Cream

No-Churn Salted Caramel & Pecan Ice Cream
 
Have you avoided making ice cream at home because you don’t have an ice cream maker and you can’t justify buying another piece of kitchen equipment you’ll only use on occasion? If so, you’ll want to give this easy 2-ingredient method inspired by the kitchn.com (see link below for attribution). This recipe builds upon their technique by adding a delicious salted caramel sauce and some chopped pecans. The results? Fantastic! If you love ice cream and a bit of salt in your snacks, you’ll want to give this one a try!
Ingredients
  • Ice cream base:
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 t. vanilla extra [optional]
  • Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 T. water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 t. fleur de sel salt
  • Other:
  • 4 oz. chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. To prepare the salted caramel sauce, add heavy cream to a small saucepan and set the heat to low. The goal is to slightly warm the cream because you don’t want to add a cold dairy product to hot liquid.
  2. Over medium-high heat, add the sugar and water to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to combine. Stop stirring and bring to a boil.
  3. Continue boiling until the mixture turns a deep amber color, then slowly whisk in the warmed cream until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from heat and add salt and butter. Stir until butter is totally incorporated into the mixture. Transfer to a serving dish or storage container and allow to cool while you prepare the ice cream.
  4. For the ice cream, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a bowl and add the vanilla extract, if desired.
  5. Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl with a hand mixer or immersion blender until still peaks form.
  6. Add one scoop of the whipped cream to the bowl of condensed milk and mix it in. Then gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the now lightened condensed milk. Thoroughly incorporate the whipped cream into the mixture, but do not overwork it to the point it loses its airiness.
  7. Pour half of the whipped cream/condensed milk mixture into an 8” loaf pan. Drizzle the cooled salted caramel sauce over the milk mixture and spread the chopped pecans evenly over the entire surface. Top with remaining whipped cream/condensed milk.
  8. Use a butter knife to incorporate the caramel sauce and pecans throughout the ice cream by pressing it down into the mixture and making sweeping “cuts” back and forth across the entire length of the pan.
  9. Cover with wax paper and press down to remove any air pockets. Place in freezer for a minimum of 6 hours, but preferably overnight. Will last up to 2 weeks in the freezer. Store any remaining salted caramel sauce in an airtight container for up to one week.
  10. Inspiration for ice cream:
  11. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-no-churn-ice-cream-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-220413
  12. Products mentioned:
  13. https://www.amazon.com/Das-Foods-Guerande-French-Salt/dp/B000K6Z22U

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Spicy Peach Salsa

Spicy Peach Salsa
 
This spicy peach salsa is absolutely gorgeous! The combination of colors creates a beautiful presentation, while the delicious blend of sweet and spicy flavors makes it a wonderful addition to simply prepared fish, chicken or pork dishes. This one is a keeper, for sure!
Ingredients
  • 6 fresh peaches, pits removed and cut into small pieces
  • 3 T. fresh lime juice
  • ½ medium shallot, minced
  • 3 T. red onion, cut into small, thin slices
  • 1-2 t. jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed, and very finely minced
  • 3 T. fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed and chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl and stir to combine. (Start with a very small amount of jalapeno pepper and taste before adding more). Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Serve with foil packet citrusy orange roughy or other minimally seasoned fish, chicken or pork recipe. This can also be served in place of regular salsa with tortilla chips.
Notes
Tip: Soak the red onion in a cup of water for 10-15 minutes before using to reduce its strong flavor and odor.

For best results, make this salsa the night before serving so the flavors have a chance to blend. This will also soften the peaches and onion to a nice consistency.

 

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Easy Cheese Bread

Easy Cheese Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ c flour
  • 1 ts sugar
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1½ c cheese plus ½ c for the top
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c milk
  • ⅓ c oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp italian seasoning
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 375
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt cheese and spices.
  3. Add egg, oil and milk. Mix well.
  4. Pour dough into a well greased loaf pan sprinkle with ½ cup of cheese and bake for about 35 min or till done.

 

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HAM & EGG CRESCENT BAKE

HAM & EGG CRESCENT BAKE
 
Ingredients
  • 1 8-oz. can Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 C. cooked ham, diced
  • ¼ C. red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Separate or cut dough into 2 long rectangles.
  2. Press rectangles in bottom and ½ inch up sides of 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray or buttered (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal).
  3. In bowl, beat eggs; add salt and pepper, stir, pour beaten eggs into dough-lined pan.
  4. Top with ham, bell pepper and cheese.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees 15 to 20 minutes.

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MINIATURE COCONUT TARTS

MINIATURE COCONUT TARTS
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box of pillsbury pie crust (the rolled kind)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • mini tart baking pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Make Filling: Beat egg. Add coconut and sugar; mix well.
  3. Unroll pie crust, use a wide rim glass to cut circles in dough to line tart pan. Spray pan with cooking spray, line with dough.
  4. Fill each tart with 1 TBSP of filling.
  5. Bake tarts for 12 minutes or until golden brown. I also sprinkled some coconut on top!

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CARROT APPLE SALAD

CARROT APPLE SALAD
 
Ingredients
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp cherry yogurt
Instructions
  1. Peel carrots and apple.
  2. Remove core from apple.
  3. Shred carrots and apple, add lemon juice and mix to coat well.
  4. This keeps the apple from turning brown.
  5. Add remaining ingredients in bowl and mix well.
  6. Chill for at least an hour, but it tastes better if you can chill it longer.

 

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GARLIC & LEMON CHICKEN WITH POTATOES & GREEN BEANS !

GARLIC & LEMON CHICKEN WITH POTATOES & GREEN BEANS !
 
(Gluten free. Low Carb, Diabetic Friendly and so simple to make)
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ pound trimmed green beans
  • 8 small red potatoes, quartered (I mixed red & yellow in pic)
  • 4 chicken breasts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  3. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the chicken, green beans and potatoes and toss to coat.
  5. Pour this mix into the pan and spread around evenly.
  6. Roast for 50 minutes or until cooked through.

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Organic Home Gardening 101

Have you ever tasted a tomato that you didn’t buy from the grocery store? If the answer to this question is no then you’ve been robbed, my friend! Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to only have access to store bought foods. Living in bustling cities where you’re more likely to see buildings than a skyline, it becomes difficult to access farm fresh produce.

Many of the fruits and vegetables we eat come from other parts of the globe, which means they’ve been bathed in preservatives just to make it to your table. Eating organic means eating clean fruits and vegetables, and you can buy them at a Farmer’s market or your grocer.

But, what if there are several varieties of edible plants you could grow in your own backyard?
What if a yard wasn’t even necessary?

Health Benefits

CNN explains that home gardening has several benefits beyond nutrition. Most Americans spend Monday through Friday sitting at a desk for 8-hours only to come home and do the same. Gardening gets you outside and moving!

You’re lifting bags of soil, reaching deep into your garden beds getting a good stretch and moving around more than you did the entire day. Having a garden not only benefits you physically, but studies have shown that it helps your emotional health as well.
It reduces stress and depression and even promotes general brain health by improving memory, among other things.

Getting Started

• One of the most important things to consider when starting an edible, organic garden is the planting zone you live in. This determines which plants will thrive in a given environment. Plantmaps.com is a great place to find out which zone you’re in, so take a look before you map out your garden. If you’re living in an apartment and plan on having an indoor garden this won’t matter as much since your plants will generally just need a certain amount of sunlight, watering and feeding to thrive.

• Second important thing in getting started is deciding what you like to eat! Choose plant varieties that you know you’ll consume regularly and read up on them. You don’t want to plant a lemon tree just to have it dumping decaying fruit all over your yard. Plus, you’ll be more likely to properly care for your plants if they’re something you really enjoy eating. Some of the best plants to start with are fresh herbs.

They’re low maintenance, work for both indoor and outdoor gardens, and preserve nicely. A useful tip is to freeze herbs in olive oil. They’ll stay fresh and you’ll cut down on waste, not to mention cooking time. Just toss a frozen olive oil cube containing your favorite herb into a skillet and you’re good to go!

Third, choose a plant varietal that fits into your schedule. Fact of the matter is that some plants are more finicky than others are and will require more of your attention.

The easiest plants to grow for beginners are:

• Greens
• Tomatoes
• Cucumbers
• Carrots
• Radishes
• Zucchini
• Green beans

Keeping It Going

Once you’ve figured out what you’ll be growing in your garden, you have to figure out how to keep it blossoming. As much as we’d like to hope that you can “set it and forget it,” your garden will need regular TLC. But don’t let that scare you off! There are tons of helpful tools to assist you in staying on top of things.

For example, Smart Gardner is a free app that helps you plan the layout of your garden, find plant varietals appropriate for your planting zone, and even sends you weekly To Do notifications to help you stay on track.

Also, enlist the help of your family members or others in the household. Encouraging children to grow their own food not only teaches them a skill but also demonstrates responsibility in caring for something other than themselves. Serving the foods you’ve harvested from your homegrown garden will give everyone a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Organic gardening will take some effort to start but once it gets going you’ll soon realize the fruits of your labor (pun intended). It is an incredibly satisfying feeling to feed yourself and loved ones something that you’ve grown with your bare hands, and not to mention, outrageously delicious.

 

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100 Cooking Hacks Tips

  1. Don’t have any buttermilk? Add 1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk.
  2. Ready to peel the shells off eggs? Wet your fingers first—the peels won’t stick.
  3. Guesstimating baking powder amounts is easy when you remember this formula: 1 tsp. baking powder per each cup of flour.
  4. No baking powder? Substitute ½ cup yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk for the liquids in the recipe. Then add ½ tsp. baking soda.
  5. Don’t add too much baking powder: Your cake or quickbread will actually rise less; not more. And taste bitter.
  6. For gluten-free gravy, throw away the flour. Try cornstarch, arrowroot powder or tapioca starch instead.
  7. For low fat baking, use applesauce instead of butter, oil or margarine. Your baking will be a little heavier, but tasty.
  8. When trying to remember which to use, keep this in mind: Baking powder adds acidity; baking soda is alkaline.
  9. Save time by pre-prepping ingredients for recipes you often make, and storing them , sealed, in your refrigerator or freezer.
  10. Before putting your cake in the oven, let your filled baking tin gently drop straight down on the counter. It knocks out air bubbles.
  11. To keep brown sugar soft, stick a piece of apple or a slice of bread in the bag. You’ll never have to find rock-hard sugar again.
  12. If you want to prevent cookies from hardening, store them in a sealed cookie jar with a slice of apple.
  13. Buy frozen Yorkshire Puddings to go with your roast. They heat easily in one pan for only 3 minutes—and there is no messy clean-up.
  14. Never make fudge on humid days. The sugar will go “grainy”. Make fudge on cool, clear days – and use a marble board or countertop.
  15. “Room temperature” ingredients or liquids should feel neither cold nor hot when you test them on the back of your wrist.
  16. Put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker, if you live in a humid climate. This will stop your salt from clumping.
  17. Flour your surfaces or flour your dough before rolling—and to make extra-sure it doesn’t stick, place between floured parchment paper.
  18. Follow recipes exactly, the first time you make them. After that, you’ll have a much better idea on how to successfully adjust ingredients.
  19. Don’t store meats in your refrigerator without first putting them on a dish, to catch blood that might escape and contaminate your fridge.
  20. Remember that the outside of frozen turkeys will thaw much faster than the inside, so thaw yours in the fridge for safety.
  21. If thawing a turkey in cold water, it is vital for food safety that you change the water every half hour.
  22. Make sure you put all leftovers back in the fridge within two hours of serving. After that, food can begin to spoil.
  23. When making holiday meals, first clear your counters. Remove unnecessary items to give yourself maximum work space.
  24. When buying your holiday squash, save time by choosing pre-cut, pre-peeled, packaged fresh squash.
  25. Beef keeps longer in the freezer than fish or chicken. You can store beef for up to six months; fish and chicken, no more than three.
  26. Buying fresh, local fruit and freezing it in a chest freezer ensures that you and your family can enjoy it all year round.
  27. If you plan to freeze a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, invest in a vacuum sealer.
  28. Don’t try to freeze vegetables that are normally eaten raw (lettuce, celery, etc.) They will not freeze successfully.
  29. Blanch vegetables before freezing to stop sugars turning to starch—which does happen quickly after picking.
  30. To blanch vegetables, drop them into boiling water for a minute or two: Then drain and plunge them into ice water.
  31. You can store asparagus for up to two weeks in your refrigerator, if you stand it in a jar of cold water with tips up.
  32. Make 3-4 days’ worth of carrot sticks in advance and store in your refrigerator in a glass container of cold water, for maximum freshness.
  33. Make up salads in a jar for lunch: Heavy items like carrot slices at the bottom; grains, fruit and nuts in the middle, greens at the top.
  34. Assemble all your blanching and freezing equipment ahead of time. Speed is everything, when it comes to successful blanching.
  35. Blanch peppers only if you plan to serve them cooked at a future date. For crisper peppers, freeze raw.
  36. Fruit does not need to be blanched before freezing—but you can freeze it in a light syrup, if desired.
  37. Did you know that frozen bananas make wonderful, creamy “ice cream”, when puréed in a food processor?
  38. If you’re going to freeze bananas, always choose ones that are fully ripe. Even at the edge of over-ripe is preferable to under-ripe.
  39. You can freeze bananas in or out of the peel—but they will last longer out of the peel and look nicer when served “as is”.
  40. Be aware that if you freeze bananas in the peel, the peel will turn black. This is normal, and the bananas inside are perfectly good.
  41. For under-ripe bananas, bake them on a cookie tray for 40 minutes at 300ºF. The skins will turn black, but when cool, they’ll be ripe.
  42. To freeze bananas for banana bread, purée first, and add 1 tsp. lemon juice per cup of puré Mix well. Store in plastic tubs.
  43. If you want frozen banana pieces or slices, remove the peel and cut into chunks or slices first. They are impossible to cut when frozen.
  44. If you want to stop clumping from occurring, first freeze fruit or vegetables pieces on a tray. Then quickly bag the frozen pieces.
  45. Be sure to pat your fruit or veggie pieces thoroughly dry with paper towel, before freezing.
  46. For optimal freezing of fruits, meat and vegetables, freeze in a deep freezer at zero degrees. Buy a freezer thermometer.
  47. When freezing anything, be sure to mark the date frozen on the bag or label and mark the expiry date too, if you wish.
  48. All baking ingredients—including eggs—should be at room temperature for at least an hour before baking.
  49. If a recipe calls for separating your eggs, do so while they are still refrigerator-cold. It will be much easier.
  50. Whipping up a meringue? Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature
  51. Worried that your eggs have been in the fridge too long? Put one in a bowl of water. If it sinks, it’s still fresh.
  52. When trying to soften butter more quickly, don’t cut in a chunk…use a cheese grater to make fine pieces.
  53. If a recipe tells you to alternate dry and wet ingredients, start and end with dry ingredients.
  54. Keep all your cake decorating utensils and ingredients in one small plastic tub with a lid. You’ll never lose a cake icing tip, that way.
  55. Are you someone who always uses a cookbook? Buy a cookbook holder from a kitchen store or online—it will make your life easier.
  56. Running your mixers at half-speed or lower will greatly extend their lifespans.
  57. Try turning a metal magazine holder on its side and sliding into your kitchen drawer to stop items from jamming up your drawer.
  58. De-clutter your kitchen at least once every six months. Donate pots and pans you don’t use. Throw out ingredients you’ve never touched.
  59. Invest in a jar-opener. It is an inexpensive utensil—and you’ll be surprised at how often you find yourself using it.
  60. If you can’t open a jar and have no jar opener, try slipping on a rubber kitchen glove first.
  61. Use plain dental floss to cut cheeses and other soft foods. Use a sawing motion; or circle the item with the floss—and pull.
  62. Use pots with two handles if you have health issues like arthritis. This will make your grip more stable—and help you avoid accidents.
  63. Can’t reach items on your top kitchen shelves? If stepping stools feel unstable, buy a long-arm grabber from a Home Health store.
  64. To avoid nasty accidents, never store heavy items, glass or other breakables on your top kitchen shelves.
  65. Place items or utensils you use all the time at waist height or in your first row of overhead shelves.
  66. Do a “safety check” on your kitchen periodically. And look for ways to improve functionality as you improve safety.
  67. Have a “kitchen maintenance” day, once in a while. Deep-scrub stains from cutlery and pots and pans. Throw out worn items. De-clutter.
  68. Clean your kitchen thoroughly before you cook, and clean as you go during cooking. You’ll have minimal clean up after.
  69. Be sure to have fine steel-wool on hand. You can use it to clean deep stains or burns from stainless steel pots in an instant.
  70. Never, ever soak silver-plated cutlery or dishes in water with bleach. Your silver-wear will blacken instantly—and permanently.
  71. An envelope cut diagonally, with the remaining point also cut off, makes a handy impromptu funnel for dry ingredients.
  72. Use a griddle iron or heavy fry pan for pancakes. If you use cast iron, never wash it—wipe and season it with oil after every use.
  73. Make French Toast in your crockpot. Lace layers with non-acidic fruit like currants, apple slices or raisins.
  74. Place cookie cutters on your griddle. Pour in pancake batter or eggs to jazz up those brunches.
  75. Mix spices for recipes ahead of time in a small shot glass. Add after you’ve added sauce ingredients for best flavor.
  76. Mix up your own pumpkin pie spice: Two parts cinnamon to one part ground nutmeg, one part ground allspice, one part ground ginger.
  77. Add a pinch of freshly minced ginger to your pumpkin pie mix for a zestier taste.
  78. Making salad ahead of time in a jar allows you to refrigerator-store it for up to seven days.
  79. Print cooking infographics or charts from Pinterest or cooking sites. Tape up inside your cupboard doors, for easy reference.
  80. To make perfect white or green tea, let your kettle rest for a few moments after reaching a boil. Never use boiling water on these teas.
  81. Stock your kitchen with staples so you can quickly whip up anything: Flour, bouillon cubes, spices, sugar, salt and olive oil to start with.
  82. After making a recipe with bouillon or broth in a carton, pour the remaining broth into ice cube trays and freeze for later.
  83. Gravy turning gray? Check out your pan—it’s probably aluminum. Use stainless steel or copper instead.
  84. Replace half of the oil in your marinade with wine for a more acidic effect.
  85. If you plan to go vegetarian, buy a big spice rack and stock it with fresh herbs and spices to add excitement to your cookings.
  86. Substitute coconut milk for condensed milk, if you’re making a vegan-friendly cake.
  87. ¼ cup applesauce, puréed tofu or one mashed banana will replace one whole egg in vegan recipes. Use tofu in savory recipes.
  88. Bake for longer at a lower temperature for most vegan recipes. You’ll have much less stodgy results.
  89. Add hemp hearts to muffins instead of bran: No, you won’t get high and it will make a delicious, nutritious change.
  90. Need to improvise kid-friendly pizza? Use frozen dinner roll dough. Spread with tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake.
  91. Roll peeled banana chunks in toasted coconut, cocoa powder or chocolate sprinkles to increase kid-appeal.
  92. For almost-instant applesauce: Microwave apple pieces for 3-4 minutes to soften. Add cinnamon. Purée in food processor.
  93. When pre-preparing sandwiches, don’t cut the crusts off till right before serving. The sandwich edges will dry out and curl if you do.
  94. Use beer or sparkling wine to make a tasty, unique mock loaf of “bread”—without yeast.
  95. To make bread “crack” on top in a rustic manner, place a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven, when baking.
  96. Slightly toast sunflower seeds or nuts before sprinkling them on top of bread. They will be much more digestible.
  97. Soak grains such as oatmeal for at least ten minutes with a splash of boiling water, before adding them to bread.
  98. To make “tulip”-shaped cupcake liners, fashion out of squares of parchment paper in your muffin tin.
  99. Place a paper lace doily over your cake and sift icing sugar all over it. Carefully remove doily—the pattern remains.
  100. To make any color, shade or tint of frosting, check out the chart at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/frost-by-numbers-how-to-make-frosting-colors.html

 

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