cook tip

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
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!

For the first time, scientists have carefully analyzed all the critters in a kitchen sponge. There turns out to be a huge number. Despite recent news reports, there is something you can do about it.

1. Keep the sponge away from raw meat. “If you’re dealing with raw juices from meat or poultry, you should be using paper that can be disposed of,” Jennifer Quinlan, a food microbiologist at Drexel University says.

2. Don’t keep sponges around for too long. “I replace mine every one to two weeks,” she says. “That’s reasonable to me.”

3. Clean the sponge every few days. The USDA recommends putting it in the dishwasher with a heated dry cycle, or wetting the sponge and popping it in the microwave for a minute.

Microwaving the sponge will knock down the bacteria living in it by about a million-fold, scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported back in 2009. Of course, this method will leave many still alive since there are billions in the sponge. But the heat targets the dangerous ones, Quinlan says.

“It doesn’t sterilize the sponge,” she says. “But remember, the bacteria we want to kill are the ones that will make you sick.”

So Your Kitchen Sponge Is A Bacteria Hotbed. Here’s What To Do

Illustration: Joy Ho for NPR

Witchy Mistakes

Funny story time! Last week I was making a chili to help my friend feel better. Spicy food is amazing to clear sinuses. I was dancing around cooking and I grabbed what I thought was cumin and put it in my soup. I instantly regretted this as it was not cumin, but cinnamon. 

FUCK. 

Chili still tasted awesome just a little sweet.


Even Seasoned witches mess up! Get it. Seasoned. Kitchen witch. Punny.

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.

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!

I was working on adding the pictures I took to my next set in the L 2 Cook series (and weeping silently over how bad they are. Seriously I’m probably going to look for stock photos instead.), and then I came up with a different slide idea. A better slide idea. 

Ladies and Genltermen (and Everyone In Between), I give you: Is It Dishwasher Safe?

I hope you find it helpful! Obviously some things are not mentioned, like electric appliances. Though, I would hope everyone knows those get washed by hand. You did know that…..right?

PS. If you have any food requests you’d like to send in, now is the time! I plan to be cooking all Thanksgiving break long!

-B

Update: @skreekos pointed out that some of the words were hard to make out with the different colored ovals behind them. I agreed, and changed them so they were one color and backed the whole text. If you reblogged before this: hooray you have a unique thing! If after: I hope it is easier to read!

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!