cook tip

Quick fact. Ready?
When we wake up in the morning, our bodies are in a fasted state. Our bodies, after have been deprived, require an immediate high quality source of protein first thing in the morning; whether it’s an egg omelette, some turkey bacon, or a meal replacement shake. Just make sure that you’re giving your body those amino acids that it needs!

anonymous asked:

Do you have any tips for using seasonings when cooking? Or tips to help cook in general for some one new to it.

College Cooking 101

Materials

Here is a list of materials that I believe are absolutely necessary to creating a quality product. Feel free to substitute anything based on your own personal preferences.

Cooking supplies:

  • Non-stick frying pan (cast iron pans are much more difficult to clean)
  • Pot (I would recommend a small pot that you can use to cook for just yourself, and a larger pot for cooking portions or for company)
  • Lid for said pot
  • Rubber spatula (much better than wooden spoons)
  • Tongs
  • Sheet tray
  • Strainer
  • Scissors (kitchen scissors)
  • A cutting board (I recommend plastic because they’re easier to wash)
  • Cutting knife
  • Bread knife (both knives should be sharpened every six months at least, you can take them to your local kitchen supplies shop)

Spices:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried chives (or real chives if you can swing them. Throw them in your ramen, your tuna salad, sprinkle them on top of pasta, etc)
  • Thyme (dried or fresh… dried is 3x as potent, use to season soups or pastas)
  • Rosemary (dried or fresh, use to season meats and starches)
  • Cumin (use this spice to rub meat)
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Garlic powder or onion powder (used for meat rubs and seasoning soups or sauces)
  • Paprika (I would recommend avoiding smoked paprika, it’s got a super aggressive flavor… use this in small amounts sprinkled over things like you would the chives)

Basic produce:

  • Parmesan cheese (for sprinkling over pastas, you can get it pre-grated)
  • Cheddar cheese (for making sandwiches and mac and cheese)
  • Tomatoes (whole, crushed, paste, whatever… just have some sort of tomato product in your pantry at all times)
  • Potatoes (you can’t buy them pre-cut because the oxidize and turn gray if not used immediately… you can still eat them, but they don’t look pretty)
  • Onions (you can get them pre-cut)
  • Garlic (use to make sauce or soup bases)
  • Romaine hearts (lettuce has a short shelf life, but romaine hearts literally last forever and are healthier than eating iceberg lettuce)
  • Protein of some sort (whatever you like- steak, chicken, tofu, etc)
  • Something salty (like pickles, black olives, anchovies, etc)
  • Your favorite veggies (I like carrots and squashes the best)
  • Pasta (whatever is cheapest or on sale at your store)
  • Bread (freeze half a loaf and leave the rest in your fridge)
  • Eggs (egg beaters or whole eggs, whatever you like)
  • Butter (or a butter substitute)
  • Oil (olive oil is the most expensive)
  • Chicken stock (or vegetable stock, in a carton or cubed)

Techniques

Basic (super duper duper basic) instructions on how to cook various items. I am not a trained professional- the information I’m providing is based off of personal experience only.

Meat

  • Cooking: Cook with oil. Outside of the steak should be grey. The inside should be light pink.
  • Seasoning: Create a simple spice blend and rub it all over the meat. Spice rubs always include salt and pepper, add whatever other spices you want.
  • Pair with: Starches or veggies.
  • Cooking: Cook with oil. Outside should be starting to crisp, inside should be white and dry.
  • Seasoning: Salt and pepper work best. You can also coat chicken in panko bread crumbs.
  • Pair with: Starches, veggies, fruits, or pasta.
  • Cooking: Cook with butter or oil. Outside should be starting to crisp. Inside should be the same color as the outside, and should feel very dry and hard.
  • Seasoning: Create a simple spice blend and rub it all over the meat. Spice rubs always include salt and pepper, add whatever other spices you want. Meat should be completely coated in the spice rub, or it won’t taste like anything but the oil.
  • Pair with: Starches, veggies, or fruits.

Starches

  • Cooking: Cook with oil. Outside should be starting to crisp, inside fork tender.
  • Seasoning: Rub (literally rub the potatoes with your hands) salt, pepper, oil and rosemary all over the potatoes.
  • Cooking: Boil water with a teaspoon of salt. Wait until the water is visibly boiling to add your pasta. I like my pasta al dente, so I always cook it for the shortest amount of time listed on the box.
  • Seasoning: Thoroughly coat pasta with whatever sauce you’re using, or it will taste dry. Good prepared sauce brands: Newman’s Own, Classico, and Barilla.
  • Cooking: Cook in chicken or vegetable stock following package instructions. Stir every so often, and add additional stock as it is absorbed into the pasta.
  • Seasoning: I like to add dried herbs to the sauce as it reduces to add flavor. You can also add veggies early on and let them cook in the sauce.

Veggies

  • Cooking: These can be pan fried in oil, boiled, cooked in a sauce/stew, or put on a sheet tray to roast in the oven. The easiest way to cook them is to add them to a sauce that you are heating up, and allow them to soften until they can be pierced by a fork.
  • Seasoning: Rub the veggies with salt before cooking, unless you are adding them to a sauce or stew.
  • Cooking: These are best pan fried with butter. Cook them until they are slightly crisped and fork tender. If you want to be fancy you can blanch them before hand. How to blanch: Boil water, and throw the veggies in for literally thirty seconds. Pour them into a strainer and douse them immediately with cold water from your sink tap until they are cool to the touch.
  • Seasoning: Salt works best before cooking. Butter after cooking.
  • Yes I know that sweet potato is a starch, but it fits better here.
  • Cooking: These veggies are best roasted until fork tender. Time varies. These veggies should be cooked with their skin left on.
  • Seasoning: Rub these veggies with salt and cook in a little oil. Top with butter after they are cooked.

Resources

- My Pasta Sauce Post. Click here.

- College Student Cookbook. Click here.

- Broke College Kid Masterpost. Click here.

- Cooking on A Bootstrap. Click here.

- Good and Cheap. Click here.

- Budget Bytes. Click here.

- Meals On The Go. Click here. (Not a cookbook, but super helpful)

I hope this helps!

Ostara Sugar Cookies

Hi lovelies! Here is a super simple recipe for some cookies that you can use as an offering for Ostara (or anytime really) or as a sort of celebratory snack! They are super customizable! Please feel free to give me your feedback! I hope you enjoy!

🍪Ingredients:

🌻4Tbs butter
🌻4Tsp veg oil
🌻1 cup brown sugar
🌻2 egg whites
🌻1ish Tbs Vanilla extract
🌻1&½ cup all-purpose flour
🌻1/2Tsp baking soda
🌻1/4Tsp salt

🍪Optional Ingredients:

🌻1 Cup chocolate chips or
🌻Herbs of any kind to taste (I like lavender) or
🌻1 Cup butterscotch chips or
🌻Anything really! Have fun with it!

🍪Onto instructions!

🌻Preheat your oven to 375°f
🌻Mix together your flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
🌻Cream together your butter, oil, and sugar. Make sure your butter is softened.
🌻Next add egg whites and vanilla and mix on high (or really fast) until everything gets a little fluffy.
🌻Add your dry ingredients slowly. A little at a time.
🌻Scrape the sides and make sure you get everything Incorporated.
🌻At this point mix in your flavorings and what ever optional Ingredients you choose.
🌻Then spoon your cookies onto baking sheets covered with aluminum foil. I use a Tsp.
🌻Bake for about 7-10 min or until golden.

🍪Additional notes:

They may puff up and then fall. Don’t worry, that’s normal.
They may take a little longer or less (my oven isn’t reliable lol)
Also, make sure you get creative. Put your intent into these! That’s the point!
With every mix, stir in good things!
Visualize your intent!

🍪I really hope you guys enjoy this! Please if you do this send me pictures or let me know how it goes!

🍪I hope that you can use this recipe for an offering our a celebration party or something. Or use them to enjoy the holiday yourself 😊

🍪Thank you so very much! If you have any questions, feel free to message or send me an ask. Hope you enjoyed! ❤There is more to come!

Love and light
Cait ✌

Brave Iced Rolls


Yields 12 rolls

The things you’ll need

Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons bread flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups + 3 tablespoons bread flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups butter, room temperature
  • Orange royal icing
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Egg wash
Equipment
  • Stand mixer
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Bench flour
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Decorating bag fitted with a #12 tip

Let’s get started!

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix yeast, warm milk and 5 tablespoons of bread flour to create a paste and allow it to set for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar.
  4. Add the remaining flour in 4 parts as you knead the dough on low. Add salt half way through.
  5. Add in soft butter chunks and knead dough for 2 minutes.
  6. Shape dough into a ball and allow it to set for 1 ½ to 2 hours in a warm place.
  7. Punch dough down and form it into small spheres. Allow them to proof for 30 minutes.
  8. Brush rolls with egg wash and bake for 22 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and cool slightly before icing. Drizzle royal icing over each roll and top with half a maraschino cherry.
  10. TaDa! These scrumptious Brave Iced Rolls will be the subject of folklore for generations to come!
50 life lessons:
1. Happiness is a mood, not a destination
2. If you spend every day wishing and wondering you will only look back on your life and wish and wonder
3. That cookie won’t kill you
4. Neither will that shot of tequila
5. Everything in moderation
6. Exercise will always put you in a better mood
7. A hot shower or a long nap can cure anything
8. Spend days with the people you love
9. Tell people how you feel
10. Never give up on a dream
11. That guy/girl was not your soulmate , soulmates don’t leave you laying in your own tears alone
12. Once a cheater always a cheater
13. People do change
14. But sometimes they just become better liars
15. Jumping into a cold pool on a hot summer day is an amazing thing
16. Wear that bikini, wear that red lipstick, wear whatever the hell you want
17. So what if your thighs jiggle?
18. Never let someone else decide your life for you
19. Don’t have sex with someone you would not want to raise a kid with
20. Buying condoms is less embarrassing than buying a pregnancy test
21. You can always order yourself flowers and buy yourself chocolate
22. Jump off cliffs, go skydiving, make sure you at least feel that thrill once
23. Do not let winter cause you to be lazy and sad
24. Sometimes all you need is to clean and organize things to feel like it’s all back in place
25. Your GPA isn’t the most important thing in your life
26. It is important though, study, focus, but never put your education over your physical well being
27. Go to the doctor and dentist
28. Listen to your gut, it really knows what is best for you
29. Always talk to somebody on the phone while walking alone at night
30. Sometimes all you need to do is laugh at your mistakes and move on
31. Find your comfort food
32. Never be afraid to go home
33. If you are, find a new home
34. Life is not a puzzle, the pieces will never fit perfectly but isn’t that the point?
35. Never dull your enthusiasm
36. READ BOOKS
37. Educate yourself on current events, from more than one source
38. Wear sweatpants or dress up, your significant other shouldn’t care what you are wearing
39. Sometimes you just have to act like a child
40. Go to carnivals, go camping, have adventures
41. Go to as many festivals and concerts as possible
42. Learn how to cook simple meals
43. You won’t always have someone there, learn how to do things on your own
44. Treat animals with the respect they deserve
45. Believe in whatever religion you like or don’t, but do not shove your beliefs on others
46. Watch as many movies as you can
47. Music is the gateway to the souls
48. Summer nights with friends are always the best
49. True friends aren’t always true friends, if they talk gossip with you they will talk gossip about you
50. Always smile, always love, never judge, and never dull your passions
2

In honor of Earth Day, here’s a sustainability pasta pro-tip from Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank: The next time you make pasta, don’t waste your used cooking water by pouring it down the drain. Instead, let it cool, and use it to water your plants. The starchy H2O will give them a beneficial nutrient boost and help them grow. Just be sure to avoid using cooking water that has been salted or seasoned.

SIMS 4 Carrot Cake Cupcakes


Yields 16 cupcakes

The things you’ll need

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups shredded organic carrots
  • Green & orange royal icing in decorating bags fitted with #5 tips
Frosting
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Equipment
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Cupcake pan & liners
  • Hand grater
  • Small cutting mat & knife
  • Peeler
  • Electric mixer
  • Small offset spatula
  • Decorating bag fitted with a #2A tip

Let’s get started!

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. n a large bowl, combine flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together butter, eggs, honey and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
  5. Gently fold carrots into the batter.
  6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners and bake for 18 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool before decorating.
Frosting
  1. Combine all of the frosting ingredients (except powdered sugar) in a large bowl and beat well with an electric mixer.
  2. Beat in half of the powdered sugar and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the second half and then beat and scrape again.
  3. Scoop frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a #2A tip.

Time to decorate!

  1. Frost the tops of the cupcakes and then refrigerate for about 5 minutes.
  2. Use green royal icing to pipe a carrot stem.
  3. With orange icing, pipe a carrot shape below the stem.
  4. TaDa! Unlock your baking skills with these yummy SIMS 4 Carrot Cupcakes!
Lazy tips for Tofu

Tofu gets a bad rap, and really it’s undeserved. 

Yes, tofu tastes bad when you cook it badly, but then so does just about anything else. It’s just that we’re much more conditioned to be forgiving of bad chicken, bad cheese, etc. And at least tofu is unlikely to give you food poisoning if it’s under cooked.

Yes tofu takes some prep. But then, so do a lot of other foods. You pay more for convenience foods of many kinds because some of the work is done for you. But as far as a ‘raw ingredient’ goes, tofu is cheaper than many animal products, and when you compare it to the work involved with preparing any ‘raw ingredient’ it’s really not much different.


That being said, here’s a few ways to make dealing with tofu less effort


Pressing

Pressing tofu is kind of an art - convincing the water to come out of the soy sponge without mushing it. This is an art I refuse to master. It’s up there with the art of eating gracefully, and ironing collars.

So I just freeze the tofu I buy. If I’m planning on using it in the next two days, I move it to the fridge. Somehow, some weird magical thing happens that makes recently defrosted tofu stronger, so you can basically squeeze out almost all the water in your hands without mushing it. This doesn’t work for silken tofu though - seriously. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Another option, if you don’t care about the tofu being mushed up, is a clean tea towel, stick the tofu in there, wrap it up, and squeeze it that way.

Or don’t press it at all. This makes it less likely to absorb other flavours, but so long as you cook it enough it still tastes good.


Marinating

To be honest, I almost never bother marinating tofu for any length of time. My idea of a marinade is to throw random stuff in a bowl, then stir in some cubes of tofu. If I’m really patient, I might last a couple of hours. Usually it’s a couple of minutes.

If you want to marinate tofu to make it taste like something specific, like the ham component of a hawaiian pizza, you can make the flavours soak in a lot faster by immersing the cubes/chunks/whatever in the marinate and baking it for about ten minutes. Shallow frying with about 1cm of oil in a pot also works (avoid marinades that have a strong powder component).

Super easy marinades

  • Vinegar, Salt, Soy sauce
  • Brewers yeast (sometimes called nutritional yeast), salt, tumeric, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, oil (if you’re feeling like reaching for the spice rack)
  • Mustard, Soy sauce, Sugar, Sesame seed oil or tahini (optional, because expensive)
  • Veggie stock
  • Basically any stir fry or pasta sauce you have lying around will do


Cooking

The ways to cook tofu are pretty much endless. You can even have it raw if it works with the recipes. My favourite quick ways are;

Deep frying - It’s not really deep frying since you only need about a cm of oil in a pot. You want it to be pretty hot (but not smoking). You don’t even really need to press tofu if you’re cooking it like this, just squeeze it a bit over the sink. It’ll be crispier if you go hotter, softer if you go cooler. I often don’t flavour tofu before frying like this, I just have it with salt and maybe a little vinegar (seriously, it’s good) after. I’ve found it takes less than ten minutes to cook a bowl of nommy tofu bites. Probably not so healthy, but I’m prone to the odd treat now and then. I’ve found this also is a fast way to cook tofu that’s going to go in other things - like curries and stirfries.

Baking - If you don’t mind waiting for noms to cook (I go surf the net while I wait), you can just put whatever flavourings you want on the tofu (immersing it in veggie broth and baking is awesome too - thank you @theveganzombie), and throw it in the oven.

Shallow frying - I’ve found this takes a bit longer than I personally like, but it has its uses. If you’re frying tofu to go with other stuff, put it in first, even ahead of onions, and don’t be afraid to let it sit in the pan without being turned constantly, it’ll cook quicker if you only turn it every so often. If you want the tofu to still be crispy when you eat and you’re using a sauce, cook the tofu separately and add it at the end.


Pre-cooking

If you want nommy soy goodness straight from the fridge for sandwiches, salads, world domination, noodles, whatever, then you can make it up ahead of time, and see how long it lasts. 

I pretty much never bother to do this. The last time I made tofu bites to go on a pizza, it took all my willpower to allow even two thirds of them to actually make it to the pizza. Cooked tofu does not last long when it’s within my reach.

But if you have more self control than me it’s a good way to have teh noms on hand.


Storing

Fridge - Tofu has a long shelf life, it usually comes sealed. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days after opening so long as you immerse it in fresh water and keep it sealed. For tofu that’s been cooked, just keep it sealed.

Freezer - Unless I have reason to want the tofu soft and mushy, I tend to just freeze it, and take it out when I need it. If I need to defrost it fast I just stick it in a bowl of hot water, then add more hot water when it starts to cool. This is enough to get it to the point where I can cut it without any trouble.

In which we post kitchen best practices that nobody ever bothers to explain to newbies because experienced cooks just assume they’re obvious:

  • The secret to frying sliced meats (e.g., ham, bacon) without scorching or splattering is long cooking times at low heat. If you picture your range dial as a scale from 1-10, try about a 3. Also, lay the meat in a cold pan and let it heat to frying temperature with the meat already in it - it won’t curl up that way.
  • If your re-heated dishes are coming out of the microwave sizzling on the outside and cold in the middle, dial it down to 60% power and double the cooking time. That power setting’s there for a reason.
  • When cooking soup, add the salt at the end. Soup reduces as you cook it, and evaporation concentrates salt - a soup that has the perfect level of saltiness near the beginning of its cooking time will be inedible brine by the time it’s done. Also, the effect of adding salt to a soup is more or less immediate, so it’s perfectly acceptable to rely on trial and error here; just add a dash of salt, stir well, and taste-test right away. Repeat until you get it right.

Your turn!

Kitchen Witch Recipe: Protection and Prosperity Potatoes

Josh, I thought Foodie Friday wasn’t for a few days…

You’d be correct! However, just as I share other spells, I’d like to share some kitchen spells here and there! And what better way to start off than with protection and prosperity! Enjoy!

Fondant Potatoes for Protection and Prosperity

Ingredients:
-3 large Russet potatoes (prosperity, wealth, health)
-3 tbsp butter (prosperity, wealth, health)
-2 to 3 tbsp Vegetable oil (protection - many vegetable oils are soy, which is linked to protection)
-Rosemary sprigs (protection, wealth, cleansing)
-Salt (cleansing, protection)
-Pepper (protection)
-½ to 1 cup Chicken broth (prosperity, health)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit). Cut ends off of the potatoes, then slice down the sides to peel and form cylindrical shapes. Cut the cylinders in half and soak in cold water for about 5 minutes to clean off excess starch. Pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Put oil in a non-stick, oven-safe skillet and put over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the potatoes with presentation ends down, and lower the heat to  medium-high. Pan-fry until well browned. Season top-facing ends with salt and pepper.

3. Flip potatoes and season the tops. Use tongs to hold a paper towel and blot the oil out of the skillet. Add butter and rosemary to the skillet.

4. Use tongs to hold a sprig of rosemary and gently brush butter over the potatoes using the sprig. Cook until the butter foams and turns from white to tan.

5. Pour chicken broth into the skillet. and transfer to the oven. Let it cook until potatoes are crisp on the outside, but very tender on the inside, about 30 minutes. If potatoes aren’t tender by 30 minutes, add a quarter cup more broth and cook for 10 more minutes.

6. Transfer to plate or serving platter and spoon rosemary butter from the skillet over the potatoes. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs, let cool for 5 minutes, and serve.

Culinary Notes

The main appeal to this dish is savory flavors, rustic presentation, and great texture. The aim is a very crispy exterior to the potatoes, with a tender, almost creamy interior. The flavor and aroma of the rosemary-infused butter will add a lovely touch to the chicken broth used to roast the potatoes. Serve either as a main or as an appetizer paired with meat dishes. (I made this as a main, with a side of sauteed asparagus with a thin balsamic glaze.)

Witchy Tips!

Cook with intent! The ingredients certainly have a lot of influence, but cooking a magical meal means adding each ingredient with the appropriate visualization and intent for what you’re aiming for with the spell.

Don’t be afraid to personalize! Add sigils to the non-presentation ends of the potatoes before cooking, draw the sigil with the oil when adding it to the pan, or trace symbols in the air over the dish before or during cooking. Whatever you feel may add to the spell, add!

Pairings always help! If you feel an ingredient needs to be substituted or paired with another, do so! Thyme is traditional with fondant potatoes, but I felt more inclined to use rosemary when casting this spell. Alternatively, one could use both thyme and rosemary for a double whammy! Likewise one could pair the dish with another dish - in the case of protection and health, perhaps it could be paired as a side dish with chicken cacciatore, or served with red wine to promote prosperity and health!

Confidence! One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned or needed to teach is that intent is the most important aspect to a spell. If your intention and heart is in the right place, you can’t mess up the spell! The same goes for cooking. Cook with confidence, and avoid second guessing, and you’ll end up with something flavorful and wonderful! This is why cooking and witchcraft go so well with each other! Intent is key for both skills!

May all your meals be blessed!
Blessed Be! )O(