Storing Foods: Spices

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Storing Spices

Did you know that more than 200 million pounds of spices are consumed annually? Spices are what makes food more piquant and appetizing. Storing spices properly will help you bring out the best flavor in each spice to ensure a delicious, aromatic dish.

Most people store their spices in a drawer, cabinet or on a spice rack.  Spices lose their delicate aroma quickly. Properly storing your spices is just as important as which spices you choose to cook with.

Step 1: Purchase whole spices, not ground

The most important thing you can do to maximize the flavor of your spices is to purchase them whole, not ground. Ground spices tend to deteriorate after about three months, especially if stored improperly.  Crushing spices as you need smaller amounts is the best way to ensure better flavor and freshness.

Step 2: Dry and dark is best

Spices are best preserved if stored in a dry, dark space. Light, air, moisture and heat are spices’ biggest enemies. These four factors keep spices from performing at their highest potential. Avoid clear bottles for storage, especially if using a spice rack hanging on your kitchen wall, as the spices will be exposed to too much light. Steel tins and canisters work best to ensure light-proof storage. Always keep your spices away from areas that will expose them to heat and affect the flavor.

Step 3: Know when to throw them out

Even though storing spices properly helps maintain freshness and flavor, everything does expire eventually and it’s important to know when to throw old spices out. A good rule of thumb is once a year; an easy way to remember when you need fresh spices is to throw them out every year during spring cleaning; or write the purchase date on top of each spice so you can track it. If the spice begins smelling musky or has no odor, or changes color, replace it, it has expired.Hope you enjoyed and learned from this blog; flavor is very important for all recipes.Spice-Jars

Perfect BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Recipe

This Memorial Day weekend, I want to take a moment to say thank you for our freedom and to remember all who have served and are serving in the military so we may have that freedom!

Made this last night and it was awesome!

Perfect BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack Pork Back Ribs
  • 2 lbs boneless Country Ribs
  • 1 Bottle of Sweet Baby Ray BBQ Sauce
  • 1 jar Rodeo Rub (or your favorite rub)
  • Heavy Duty Foil or a foil pan can be used

Instructions:

  • Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel
  • Cut the rack in half
  • Use the rub to coat all the ribs well on both sides
  • Using TWO pieces of foil or the pan spray the area the ribs will be on with non-stick cooking spray
  • Place rubbed ribs in the doubled foil or the pan (top pan with foil) and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour
  • Once the charcoal is ready, place the rib packets on the grill, close the lid and let cook for 50 minutesribs on grill

  • After 50 minutes remove from foil and place top-side down on the grill
  • Brush BBQ sauce all over the bottom of the ribs, close the lid, and let cook for 5 minutes

ribs

  • Flip the ribs, brush the top side with the BBQ sauce, close the lid, and cook for 5 minutes
  • You can use the juice left in the foil/pan as an a-jus sauce for dipping the ribs or to pour over them when served
  • Serve and Enjoy!
BBQ-RIBS-CUT

Rainy day recipe – Pulled Pork BBQ & Gnocchi

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Hello,

It’s a cold, rainy day here in De Pere, Wisconsin so I thought I would share a quick and easy rainy day comfort food recipe with you.  Hope you enjoy it.  Had this dish (although they made it from scratch) at a local restaurant and it was fabulous.

Pulled Pork BBQ & Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package Jim Beam pulled pork (found in most stores in the meat section-see picture below)

NOTE: You could make a boneless pork roast in the crock pot and flavor with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ and it will have the same affect.

  • 1 package Gnocchi (see picture below, you can use any brand)

Note: Dried gnocchi are found in the pasta aisle at the supermarket. Do not use fresh or refrigerated gnocchi, or they will become too soft during cooking.

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Heat pulled pork per the directions on the package.
  2. Heat gnocchi per the directions on the package
  3. Combine 1 & 2 into a casserole dish.  Stir to completely cover gnocchi with BBQ sauce.
  4. Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Cookbook now on Amazon

So, it did not take 5 days for my cookbook to appear on Amazon.   Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545278849/ref=cm_wl_huc_continue

 

Hope you enjoy it!!  Thank you to everyone that help; can’t wait to start the next book.

 

as sold on amazon

New Cookbook for Sale

My book is now available for sale. So Excited!!

You can order through www.createspace.com now or on Amazon in 5 business days. You can message me if you wish for me to order one and get it to you.

Thank you everyone for all your support through this process.

create space cookbook sale

Storing Foods: Garlic, Onions, and Shallots

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Storing Foods: Garlic, Onions, and Shallots

The correct way is to store these items is in a paper bag with holes punched in the bag.

What you would need:

  • Brown paper bags, lunch bag size
  • Hole punch
  • Paper clips
  • Marker
  1. Make sure the onions, garlic, and/or shallots are firm and blemish free.
  2. Punch holes in the bags.
  3. Fill each bag half full and fold over the top; do not mix the vegetables in the bags.
  4. Label the bag with the description of the contents then paper clip it to hold the top down.

This punched paper bag method should extend the life of onions, garlic, and shallots in most situations. However, their specific life may vary depending on the temperature, humidity, and light conditions where the bags are stored.  Do not store potatoes in the same area as they give off gases that will accelerate spoilage of each other.

These will last the longest in a dark, cool (but not cold), dry storage area. I’ve successfully kept them in my 65-70ish degree kitchen drawer for up to 3 months.  A cool, dark basement is a good choice or a cellar, if you happen to have one. Onions should not be stored for an extended time in the refrigerator because the cold temperature will soften their texture; plus, onions will impart their flavor on surrounding produce.

No plastic bags: Don’t ever store onions in plastic bags. That will accelerate sprouting and spoilage because of the lack of air circulation. 

 

Cheesy Grits

This is one of my favorite grits recipes:

Cheesy Grits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded or as much as you like; I use more

Instructions

Place the milk, water, and salt into a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once all of the cornmeal has been incorporated, decrease the heat to low and cover. Remove lid and whisk frequently, every 3 to 4 minutes, to prevent grits from sticking or forming lumps; make sure to get into corners of pot when whisking. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is creamy.

Remove from the heat, add the pepper and butter, and whisk to combine. Once the butter is melted, gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time. Serve immediately.

cheesy grits