Browsing "Hints/Tips"
Jan 25, 2010 - File Icon Hints/Tips, In The Kitchen   Comment Icon Comments Off on Oven Safe Cooling Rack

Oven Safe Cooling Rack

This has to be one of those things that I can’t really believe I’ve ever lived without. Its a cooling rack that is oven safe. Awesome.

Using this I can make chicken parmesan without having the bottom get soggy, let the fat drain off of a meatloaf, or make some pretty awesome bacon.

Meatloaf can be a little tricky to make on an open rack through, right? Its just a loaf of ground meat balanced on a wired rack. I wanted to find a way to drain off the fat, but I really didn’t want to buy one of those loaf pans with holes in the bottom. To me, meatloaf should not resemble a loaf of bread.

So I took some heavy foil (another kitchen favorite) and put it over the rack. Now that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to just have it on foil. So I poked it.

I poked it a lot. This is why I wanted to have heavy foil, so it’ll stand up to the meatloaf weight and also the poking. I used a large pen to make the holes, so there would be lots of places

The foil worked really well. The fat drained off and out of the meatloaf and it didn’t have a whole lot of congealing fat attached to the sides of it. Sounds yummy huh? Plus I could cook my potatoes on the same rack and have dinner ready at the same time.


Jan 9, 2010 - File Icon Hints/Tips, Pork   Comment Icon Comments Off on Storin The Bacon

Storin The Bacon

The love affair with bacon is hard to deal with when you really don’t want to be eating a whole pound of bacon at one time because you don’t want it to go bad, especially when there are only two people living in your house.

The Husband was trying to be a good man and cook me dinner one night. Dinner was bacon sandwiches. His version of a BLT is just bacon, bread and mayo. I appreciated it, gave him a hug and told him never to do that again.

I can’t eat that much bacon. I need balance. I need veggies!

So I’ve found a great way to store bacon when I know we won’t get to that much bacon in one sitting.

Well… Ok we COULD get through that much bacon in one night but we really don’t need to be doing that to our poor arteries.

I saw this method somewhere, I don’t remember and its been a while, but I LOVE it. The idea of individually frozen pieces of bacon just make my life better. And easier!

Take some parchment paper, and place a piece of bacon down. Fold over. Place another piece on top. Fold over. Place, fold, repeat, then freeze! Forgive the lack of picture, lighting has been weird lately with the weather/time changes.

This way you can pull out as many pieces as you need. Only have to unroll and stick them in the oven or pan. You don’t really need to defrost bacon, it just goes with the flow. Just store it in a freezer safe zip-top bag and squeeze out as you can. It’ll stay good for probably a few months, but then again I wouldn’t know since it doesn’t last that long in my house!

Jan 7, 2010 - File Icon Hints/Tips, Pork   Comment Icon Comments Off on Bakin Bacon!

Bakin Bacon!

Husband calls bacon the gateway meat. It has to be one of the most addictive meat products you can buy in the market. I’ve known a few vegetarians who would randomly crave bacon from time to time.

It’s an addictive substance that I am so glad is socially acceptable.

The one thing I really hate about cooking bacon is the splattering, popping and eventual burning flesh and running away from the angry grease. So I’ve been looking for a way to make bacon without the fear I have of the burny fleshyness.

And the time. It takes too long for the bacon to cook in my opinion.

So after watching so many foodie shows on TV I’ve decided to start baking my bacon. Awesomeness. I don’t have to worry about splattering grease on myself and it’ll have it all be cooked and done at the same time!

Mmmmm… Bacon…

I bought this nice and wonderful contraption at Kohl’s before Christmas, an oven safe cooling/baking rack, and it has truly been my favorite thing ever to lower the fat in cooking. It can handle up to 475F I believe, but you don’t really have to use this, you can just lay the bacon on the tray and it’ll work great also.

Always line your baking sheet with a large piece of heavy duty foil, this way you don’t have to do much clean up at all and you wont mess up your pans with all that bacon grease. To bake your bacon, always start with a cold oven. That’s my opinion at least. It seems to cut down on the splattering and grease craziness in the oven. It also helps your meat strips to lay flat.

Lay as much as you can in your pan without overlapping the bacon, the more bacon the better my life.

Cook the bacon at 375F for about 15-20 minutes or until the crispness that you want. Thin bacon cooks MUCH faster than thicker cut, so you really have to watch your bacon the first few times until you get the hang of it. It also seems to take a little longer to cook on the rack, probably because its not cooking in the grease.

There is a definite texture difference if you cook it on the rack rather than just on the pan, it still tastes great but it does feel different in your mouth. Cooking it without the rack will produce bacon very similar to cooking on the stove. Either way its great. I think I just like the fact that the grease is draining off as it goes. It probably doesn’t make much of a difference calorie wise but it makes me feel better.

Aug 23, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips, In The Kitchen   Comment Icon Comments Off on Cleaning Up Dough

Cleaning Up Dough

I love to bake bread. I know, I know. That’s one of those sayings that most of my friends will look at me with an expression of “Duh!”.

But here’s the thing. I hate cleaning up after making bread. I always end up with little bits of dough that completely clog up my cleaning sponges. It makes a great glue but that really isn’t what I want in my sponge.

Dirty Spoon

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Jun 24, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips, In The Kitchen, Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on New Hardware

New Hardware

I love kitchen gizmos and gadgets. Especially ones that REALLY will make my projects easier.

A while back I decided I wanted to make fresh pasta. Why? Well, because I could. Plus I had never had fresh pasta and really wanted to try it. So I went out and bought a manual one.

Manual Pasta Machine

It served its purpose, it helped me make pasta. But there really is one bad thing about it. Its MANUAL. As in you crank it to pull the pasta through.

I can’t tell you how tired my arm was after doing this. It was really quite annoying. Unfortunately now I’ve lost that damn handle crank so I can’t even use the stinking machine.

But then the times change… Read more »

Spice Rack Project

After my initial time roaming around the bulk bins, I realized then I needed to do a reorganizing of my kitchen. Specifically, my spice rack/cupboard.

Don’t give me that look. I know its slightly crazy…

Sad Spice Rack

After buying my bulk spices and putting them in their pretty bottles, I became inspired. I started looking around online for the best way to store your spices to get the longest shelf life out of them. Especially with the amount of spices I have its important to get the most out of them.

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Jun 1, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips   Comment Icon 4 Comments

Frozen Meals

I’m lazy.

Really lazy. So in order to feed my need of being lazy, especially with the really yucky schedule I’m on, I do things like cook for an army.

Lots 'O Tortillas

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May 23, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips, In The Kitchen   Comment Icon Comments Off on Obsessive Cake Frosting

Obsessive Cake Frosting

Sometimes at night we get horrible sweet cravings. Since I’m more sensitive to sugar now and I’m trying to make healthier eating habits we don’t keep as much sweet stuff in the house anymore. But there are those nights/days where we think “gotta have sugar!”

One of those days I found a cake mix and frosting in my pantry. Awesome. However, weird things happen when I decide to get creative in the kitchen.

I get a little obsessive. And slightly crazy.

Simple Cakes

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May 21, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips, In The Kitchen   Comment Icon Comments Off on Make It Ahead

Make It Ahead

When I first started at my job a few years ago, I worked the early shift (same as I work now most days of the week) which meant I had to be at work at 5:00am, or sometimes even earlier depending on the day and how much work was ahead of us. I think the earliest I got to work at one point was 3:30am. That’s just obscene but at the same time I would go in that early and not get up until 10:00am, then I finally realized “wait, I’ve been sitting for almost 7 hours without getting up…ugh.”

There is always an upside to that type of situation though. You learn new ways to deal with your new life.

Freezing Orzo
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