Buying and Prepping Bulb Onions

bulb onion

Bulb Onions

Sweet bulb onions look a little bit like green onions and scallions except for one thing – instead of a straight line from green to white or only a very small bulb, bulb onions have an obvious ping pong ball sized bulb at the end.

Scallions, also called green onions, are harvested before the bulb starts to form. Bulb onions are picked after the bulbs are  the size seen in the pic on the left.

When selecting bulb onions at the grocers look for onions that do not have soft squishy parts, split bulbs, or discoloration that can come either from age or poor handling during shipping. The greenery above should look freshly picked and be a beautiful deep green nearest the top, fading to light green as it reaches the bulb. Do not buy bulb onions if the greenery is browned or wilting. Read More


How to Bake a Potato

potatoes wiki

potatoes from Wikimedia Commons

Don’t pass on the potatoes because you are not quite sure if they are healthy or how to bake them. A mindfully confident home cook should be wise in the way of the spud.

Select the perfect potato!

Russets are usually used for baking because their flesh is more agreeable to the process and the skin will hold up when split in half to be slathered with whatever bit of deliciousness you want to add. Sweet potatoes make a delightful change from the ordinary spud. Buying and baking either kind is easy. Read More


Prepping Baby Bok Choy

bok choy WM 350Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage with dark leaves attached to a base that looks rather like celery.

It comes in full grown and a baby variety that I particularly love.

It is delicious, easy to cook, wonderful in stir fries or sautés, low in calories, and very good for you.

To prepare bok choy, first slice off the tough end at the base of the plant. Read More


Roasting Garlic, Two Ways

Garlic bulbThese are my two favorite ways to roast garlic.

The first creates beautifully aromatic individual cloves of garlic that are intended to be consumed whole.

The second melts the clove into a fragrant spreadable garlic that is perfect for slices of chewy Italian bread or for swirling in to your favorite recipe. Read More


Working with Active Dry Yeast

YeastBefore you bake that loaf of bread, let’s stop a moment and discuss the temperature.

I don’t mean how hot it is outside, I mean the right temperature of the liquids used to activate yeast so that your bread and rolls rise high and light.

You can be precise and use a thermometer, but as my Aunt-in-law Mama D always said – “Don’t make a federal case out of using yeast.”

I always listen to her.

The following three words are a great way to remember the non-federal case way to activate yeast. Read More


How to Roast Peppers

Pepper roasted

When a recipe calls for roasted red peppers, you may choose to buy them in a jar from your favorite store – or save some money and gain a little culinary confidence by roasting them yourself.

This process works for all peppers. Try roasting poblanos, hatch, and even jalapenos this way, just watch the smaller peppers a little more closely. Do not roast habaneros inside the house. Leave that to the hazmat suited professionals. Read More


On Finding Balance

stunning beauty 2 - CopySometimes I feel the weight of it all. Sometimes the load is light and easy.

Sometimes I breathe over and around all the bumps. Sometimes I run smack dab into newly exposed troubles and am overcome by the difficulty.

Life is like that. So much is simply out of our control. Where can you find the calm center everyone talks about?

Your ability to be in the midst of the storm and retrieve a moment of peace is only a breath away.

Directions:

Pour a little air into your lungs.
Stir well with three mindful breaths.
Mix in a dash of good posture.
Simmer with the following conscious breathing technique. Read More


Slowing Down with Three Breaths

Bird On a Wire WM 500Do you spend the day rushing about multi-tasking? Sometimes things just fall together in spite of the lack of attention. Other times, things don’t work out so well.

Cooking requires full-on focus or you may find yourself on a mad dash out the door for a forgotten ingredient or, worse still, angrily trashing a burnt meal.

This simple technique for staying present and on track requires no yogic training or fancy meditation courses. You don’t even need special equipment.

As long as you are able to breathe, you have just what you need to slow a frenzied brain.

Cook up a little mindful attention with the following recipe. Read More


Spaghetti Squash Mastery

450px-Spaghetti_Squash_cooked_and_prepared_3 aWinter squash is a vegetable that some people avoid because they are not sure how to cook it. Others give it a pass because the squashes are so very hard and they are afraid that it would be too difficult to cut. Let’s gain a little cookery confidence by improving our squash skills using the family friendly and fun spaghetti squash.

After you practice cooking it, slice it in half, remove the pulp and seeds in the center, and then discover how easy it is to drag the tines of a fork lengthwise through the squash to remove those long lovely and nutritious strands. Look at that beautiful mountain of squash!

Since you cooked it, you may as well serve it. The easiest way is to drizzle a bit of garlic and olive oil on top – or add a ladle of spaghetti sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Below are eight different ways to prepare spaghetti squash. Which one will be right for you? Read More


Selecting and Slicing a Fresh Pineapple

Pineapple goldenThe Spoon Mage™ loves her pineapple almost every day. Fresh pineapple is incredibly nutritious and does wonderful things for her arthritis. This magical banish my arthritis property comes from an anti-inflammatory enzyme called Bromelain that exists within fresh pineapple. Neither dried nor canned pineapple works as well on my pain, and forget about pineapple in a pill. Go fresh for less pain and great flavor!

A pre-cut pineapple is twice the price of a whole pineapple at the grocers. Even if you don’t have a pineapple slicer it is easy to slice up a pineapple. With practice, you will be a pro – a pro that saves money!

There is a great lot of pineapple inside the fruit. You will cut off what looks like an extravagant amount of the outside and it will make you feel wasteful. Not to worry, there is a lot left for you to eat.

To select the perfect pineapple, start by picking one up.  Read More