Friday, January 1, 2010

10 Food Rules To Live By

1. Fresh ginger makes any chicken dish amazing - and it smells incredible!

2. Cinnamon enhances the flavor of chocolate - all it takes is a pinch

3. Extracts are a baker's best friend - I even add them to cake/cookie mixes

4. Zest - grate it, use it, love it - for marinades, baked goods, and even drinks

5. Eggs truly are the most versatile food - always keep them on hand

6. Want a new dish for dinner - pork and chicken are nearly interchangable - try your favorite recipe for chicken with a similar cut of pork - works like a charm!

7. Try one new food a month: This year I've added pumpkin, gingerroot, fontina cheese, and fresh pineapple - to mention a few. Little by little, I'm learning to love new foods. A way to make it easier - look for what's on sale and similar to stuff you already know and enjoy. Just buy enough to sample.

8. Dip can be made out of anything you have on hand - just use a simple base of cream cheese and sour cream. The bonus: cream cheese freezes wonderfully and lasts for up to a year in the freezer. And this is the perfect time of year to stock up.

9. Making over leftovers is a snap - cook once - eat for 2-3 days. Challenge yourself to come up with new ways to use leftovers. Stuffed mushrooms, chicken salad, pasta sauce, rice dishes are some of my favorite ways - but the sky really is the limit here!

10. Homemade pie crust is over-rated. Everyone should try making it once in their lives, but the people eating the pie won't know the difference between store bought and homemade. Trust me.

** A bonus rule ** There is a huge difference between imported and domestic parmesan. For me, I save 50% by buying the imported parmesan cheese at my favorite fresh foods store, Caputo's. Save money, eat better! Parmesan also freezes well.

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