Frozen Broccoli Made Tasty

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It’s time to put dinner on the table and we need a vegetable side dish. A salad seems like so much work, and so does any other vegetable. Frozen broccoli is a staple in our home, as I’m sure it is in many others, for just this reason. It doesn’t taste as good as fresh, of course, but it’s just so handy. How can we prepare it to make it more acceptable? Microwave – this is how I ate it … Read More

Simple, Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce — 100% pure tomatoes

posted in: extra 1

Now is the time when the tomato plants are groaning under their load, and we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. Even in the years when I don’t garden, I usually know people who do and come August and September, they are passing off tomatoes wherever and whenever they can. I will gladly accept them all, because I have this quick method for “preserving” them – no peeling or canning required. Quick & Easy Homemade Tomato … Read More

Tool: Immersion Blender

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  I suppose it’s not technically an essential tool, but it is one I use all the time: my immersion blender.   I put off buying one for years, though my friends mentioned using theirs regularly. After I bought one, I knew I would never be without one again.     How do I use my immersion blender? Let me count the ways To puree some soups, like roasted root vegetable, butternut squash, and pea soup. To thicken up some … Read More

Simplified Steps to Dinner Planning

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Typical menu planning involves multiple dependent steps: Find out what’s on sale or what coupons you have. Find recipes you can cook and want to eat. Figure out what ingredients you need to cook those recipes. Try to mesh the ingredients you need with what you have and what’s on sale. Plan it out in some way that will be helpful at 5pm Wednesday night. I got tired of spreading out with so many papers and trying to work it … Read More

Announcing: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Edition of Simplified Dinners!

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Adhering to a restricted diet is difficult. It means paying attention – all the time. It means meal planning and food preparation where you might have relied on convenience foods before. It can be exhausting. In addition to the mental energy required to stay on top of a special diet, there is also the vast new set of unfamiliar ingredients that seem to be necessary. Gluten‑free flour mixes usually require not only 5 or more flours to combine, they also … Read More

Review: Misto Oil Spritzer

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When I was scrutinizing my master grocery list, eyeing just how many items I could eliminate, I noticed “cooking spray.” “Cooking spray should be an easy thing to eliminate,” I thought. Turns out I use it a lot. Sometimes you don’t know these things until you do without. In our early years of marriage I didn’t buy cooking spray; I thought of it as a luxury item. But back then I also kept Crisco on hand and used that to … Read More

Simplifying Dinner, even for those with food allergies!

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Adhering to a restricted diet is difficult. It means paying attention – all the time. It means meal planning and food preparation where you might have relied on convenience foods before. It can be exhausting.  In addition to the mental energy required to stay on top of a special diet, there is also the vast new set of unfamiliar ingredients that seem to be necessary. Home-mixed gluten-free flour combinations usually require not only 5 or more flours, they also require such … Read More

Make Your Own Peanut Butter

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Yes, you can quickly and easily make your own peanut butter. I learned this from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, among a mirad of other fascinating things. It’s a great book. I highly recommend it. It is a fun read, not simply a cookbook. How to make your own peanut butter Put non-salted peanuts (roasted or not; I prefer roasted) in a blender with a tad oil (any neutral oil you have on hand) and a pinch salt. Blend. … Read More

Essential Kitchen Tools

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While we all have our own little favorite kitchen gadgets, there are only a few real kitchen essentials necessary for a smooth-running, productive kitchen. A pared-down kitchen tool drawer is easier to keep organized, clean, and useful. The fewer tools you own means your reliable stand-bys are at hand, not buried in a quagmire of random doodads. At least half the knives on the market, as well as a good percentage of the rest of the kitchen equipment sold for … Read More

Peeling & Chopping Garlic: You Don’t Need Gadgets

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Garlic is on the top of any list of pantry essentials. Its flavor adds to almost any mealtime dish. Of course there are many “convenient” ways to get garlic into your cooking: Garlic powder Jarred pre-minced garlic Jarred whole garlic Garlic paste However, nothing beats the clean taste of fresh garlic. And since garlic is such an essential, it is no surprise that all sorts of gadgets exist to make getting your garlic more “convenient”: Garlic press Rubber garlic peeler … Read More

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