20 Simple & Practical Kitchen Hacks for Everyday Cooks

We all strive to improve our efficiency and frugality in the kitchen for obvious reasons; time and money are valuable!  Both attributes can be learned over time, yet often a helpful tip at just the right moment can be more useful than months -or even years- of experience.

Here are twenty of my favorite kitchen hacks, shortcuts and secrets. They will save you money, time, and wits.

Gleaned from many years in the professional cooking industry and passed along from fellow chefs and home cooks alike, they are 100% applicable for everyday cooks–and I use all of them as I cook daily for my family.

I hope you can put a few of them to good use and help simplify your cooking and baking.

[Read more…]

10 Tips to Help You Conserve Some Coin

We all want to know how we can trim our monthly grocery bill and yet feed our families real, wholesome food. Anyone who has shopped for organic ingredients, knows that there is a price to pay for bringing home pesticide-free, all-natural foods. So what can be done?

Fortunately, Slow Food Rhode Island leader Amy McCoy of Poor Girl Gourmet has some solutions for us. In her brand new cookbook, Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget, she takes us on a low-budget, high-quality food adventure, offering proven tips for eating wholesomely on the cheap, as well as providing reliable recipes to back the tips up. Her suggestions for frugal eating are one hundred percent applicable for every household and well worth reading about.

Here are ten money-saving tips that I gleaned from her cookbook, as well as a recipe that demonstrates how a less desirable (read: cheaper) cut of meat can be absolutely amazing. [Read more…]

Weekend Reading: Frozen Bites Edition

We touched on frozen treats this week, but really, there are so many more options than semifreddo, popsicles, and iced coffee. Here are a few more ideas to inspire for you the upcoming scorching months.

Enjoy! [Read more…]

Keeping Cool with Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee and Tea

Aside from a tall glass of water, cold-brewed iced tea and coffee may be the most simple beverages you can make this summer. Literally, “just add water” is all the effort required and the results speak for themselves. I’m never without at least one of these drinks in the fridge from June to September, and more often than not, they are both on hand, just waiting for company to drop over or to fuel a hectic day.

What exactly is ‘cold-brewed’?

‘Cold-brewed’ is tea or coffee that is steeped in cold water for about 12 hours. Why boil water (which requires energy) to make tea or coffee, only to cool it down again over ice, (which takes more energy to make)? Instead try a cold-brewed method by combining your favorite tea or ground coffee with cold water, allowing it to infuse overnight, then simply straining and savoring!

Much more energy-conscious, don’t you think?

Because of the lengthy brew time, cold-brew requires some planning ahead, but that seems to be the only downside. Connoisseurs agree that cold-brewed coffee is less bitter and acidic, with very ‘clean’ flavors overall. It is excellent black or ‘white’; my preference is to add a generous pour of whole milk and a teaspoon of agave syrup.

A word of warning: cold-brewed coffee and tea is believed to contain more caffeine than regular coffee and tea, so watch out for that super-buzz! [Read more…]

Frozen Bites Part 1: Simple Treats to Beat the Heat

My first son wore his toddler status like a badge of honor. He was into everything and anything as soon as he was mobile and I quickly had to figure out a few ways to keep him still more than five seconds. One of my favorite tactics was to plop him in his highchair and hand him a popsicle (usually frozen orange juice). It was always guaranteed to give me a sold twenty minutes to put dinner together or answer some emails.

Fast forward four years: I’m still making frozen treats, but now they are helpful to beat the heat and keep the peace between siblings. It is easy to remember that your brother is your best friend when you are both sitting on the back steps eating something lip-smackingly good.

Frozen treats are fun and delicious, no matter how old you are. This week we’ll be bringing you all sorts of simple ideas for frozen treats to make -and enjoy- with your kids. [Read more…]