Category Archives: Tips

Saving Lemon Zest – Quick Tip

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Scratch into the skin of a freshly picked lemon. Take a deep whiff. It’s a heady experience, isn’t it? The zest of the lemon carries a powerful amount of flavor, flavor you can enjoy long after the lemon itself is gone. When faced with a need for lemon juice, as in making lemonade, consider removing…

Non-Toxic Stove Top Cleaning — Quick Tip

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When you’ve got grime on your grime in your stove top burning pans and then you manage to boil over milk on top of that grime, it is time for a life change: Clean the darned stove top! Yes, you could buy some of that toxic-smelling oven cleaner, spray it on, and wipe it off….

Avoiding Dry/Tough Pastured Chicken — Brining Quick Tip

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You’ve probably noticed that free-range organic chickens have drier meat than their more commercially processed counterparts. Here’s the scoop. The giant chicken processors brine their chickens before sending them to market. Brining is rather like marinating. With brining, the chicken soaks in a salt water bath for a couple of hours. During that time, the…

Sourcing New Pantry Jars

Sourcing New Jars from Traditional-Foods.com

We have written about sourcing pantry jars from old pickle jars and we actually just landed nine one-gallon pickle jars at a thrift store, but the easiest way to fill your pantry with decent glass storage containers is certainly hunting them down new. I’ve had luck with half-gallon size canning jars at Michael’s — other…

Eucalyptus Oil Prevents Mosquito Bites (Quick Tip)

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If you get eaten by mosquitos, lemon eucalyptus oil may be your best friend. Whether you are sitting on your American porch in the summer slapping your forearms and neck or traveling to a country with malaria-carrying mosquitos, keep a small bottle of a lemon eucalyptus oil blend with you. A 2006 study found lemon…

Homemade Holiday Flavor Infusions (Quick Tip)

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The holidays are busy enough as it is — making some flavor infusions to keep stock in late November and December is a great strategy. We made up an infusion of peppermint and of holiday spices and we keep each in our refrigerator to put together quick drinks. These infusions allow us to use whole…

Peppermint Oil to Keep Mice Out Of The Pantry (Quick Tip)

Peppermint OIl for Mice @ Traditional-Foods.com

There are a lot of testimonials online of people controlling mice with peppermint oil. It may not be a surprise that using peppermint oil to keep away mice is not a burgeoning area in scientific research, but the testimonials have me minting up my food storage areas. Here are a few ideas on how to…

Roasted Vegetable Tip: Fill Your Pan!

Roasted Vegetables -- Fill Your Pan for Multiple Meals! @ Traditional-Foods.com

If you are going to roast vegetables, roast a whole pan of them to take advantage of your hot oven. It takes very little more time or energy to roast three squash as opposed to one. Make plans to fill a whole baking sheet. In the picture provided you see squash enough to supply three…

Thaw Your Turkey Safely (Quick Tip)

Turkey Thaw Tip @ Traditional-Foods.com

As we scurry to get ready for the holidays, it is so easy to forget to thaw the turkey. I know everyone has done it: left the turkey out on the counter on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving hoping it will thaw more quickly at room temperature. It does thaw more quickly at room temperature but…

Slicing Tomatoes — A Quick Tip on the Best Knife

Cutting Tomatoes Tip -- Use a Bread Knife @ Traditional-Foods.com

I remember vividly being at a graduate school picnic back in the early 1990s and asked to slice tomatoes — with a steak knife. It appeared that no one else even knew where to start with any kind of knife. I remember looking down at the knife and shaking my head. I did get my…

How to Cook Pumpkin for Pie (Even Your Jack-O-Lantern)

Cooking Pumpkin for Pie @ Traditional-Foods.com

If you have ever tried to make pumpkin pie out of last week’s jack-o-lantern, then you have already discovered that roasted and pureed pumpkin is not the same as the canned pumpkin you grab at the market. Here’s the deal. Those large, showing pumpkins are full of water. Yes, you can cook up the flesh,…

Choosing A Butternut Squash (Quick Tip)

Choosing Butternut Squash Tip @ Traditional-Foods.com

Have you joined the growing tribe of folks who love the flavor and texture of roasted butternut squash? It’s sweet, smooth goodness is what many expect to find in a pumpkin and then are disappointed. If you have become a butternut believer, including it often in your fall and winter meals, you should know this…

Okra “Slime” Texture: Reduce It With One Quick Tip

Reduce Okra "Slime" @ Traditional-Foods.com

If you love the flavor of okra but just do not like its “slimy” texture, you need to know this tip. Quick tip: After washing your okra, all it to dry. That’s it. Most of us probably wash the okra right before using it and cut it up while it is still wet. I do…

Peeling a Tomato (Quick Tip)

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There are times when you want to slip those skins off your juicy red garden tomatoes: When you’re adding chopped fresh tomato to a cooked dish where you do not want to see bits of tomato skin floating around at serving time. After all your hard work, this can look pretty tacky. When someone in…

Boiling Potatoes for More Flavor (Quick Tip)

Boiling Potatoes Tip @ Traditional-Foods.com

I was walking through the kitchen and noticed my mom putting potatoes on to boil — whole potatoes that will end up cut up in a potato salad. For my part, I figure if I am going to cut up the potatoes anyway, I would rather cut them raw (and cold) and boil them in…

Okra Pod Size: Smaller is Better (Quick Tip)

Okra Tip @ Traditional-Foods.com

If you are new to okra or you are sending a non-cooking spouse or friend out to shop for you, you need this tip. In most cases, okra is sold in an open bin and you can select the pods you want. Rummage through and find the smallest pods. (As an aide, if they are…

Is It A Cooking Apple? (Quick Tip)

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The glorious apple harvest is coming in. Apples of many colors, sizes, and shapes are appearing at farmers markets and roadside stands. My question is always, “Is this a cooking apple or one to be eaten fresh?” Not every vendor has an answer. In some cases they are not even certain of the name of…

Herbs: Keeping Them Fresh in the Refrigerator

Storing Fresh Herbs @ Traditional-Foods.com

Unless you are cutting herbs fresh out of your kitchen herb garden, you have to buy them and store them. It doesn’t take many bags of delicate herbs crushed and soggy in the bottom of your produce drawer to realize you need a better solution. Herbs will stay fresher if their stems are placed in…

Homemade Powdered Sugar From Rapadura or Sucanat (Quick Tip)

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This tip is so simple it hardly deserves a post, but it may inspire you to use a bit of whole sugar in your confection projects. We are used to white sugar powdered sugar and, of course, if you are making white frosting you probably want to stick with a powdered white sugar, but for…

Bay Leaf To Keep Pests Out Of Your Food Storage (Quick Tip)

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Pantry bugs appear not to like bay leaf. Quick tip: Put a few bay leaves in a jar of grains or beans or put some bay sprigs in your pantry to keep pests out of your food. Bay trees are common here in California. We have a stand of bays just ten feet from our…