What’s for Dinner Tonight – Lamb Chops and Couscous

I had purchased a package of lamb chops yesterday. There were three of them. I sprinkled them with salt and garlic powder. And then I let it sit out for at least an hour for the meat to warm up a bit.  It’s important to let the meat be close to room temperature when cooking so as to ensure a more even heat distribution.

I’d purchased a small container of couscous. The recipe calls for 1 cup of couscous to make 4 cups of cooked couscous. That’s way too much. So I took some riced cauliflower from Trader Joes and sauteed it a bit in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then I added in half a cup of water and 1/3 of a cup of couscous. I put on the lid and turned off the burner. It was a bit dry. It was also too much so I put half in a container for tomorrow’s lamb chop.

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So when I reheat, I’ll add in more water. Tonight, I probably could have added in a bit more olive oil.

I love lamb so I don’t mind cooking it two nights in a row. The third chop will get frozen for a future meal.

I also had some chard that I steamed like spinach instead of sauteed. I probably would have sauteed it in olive oil with extra garlic in the future.  It just needed that extra flavor that steaming didn’t quite do.

I had a lovely red wine blend.  And dessert was dark chocolate.


Simple And Practical Tips To Improve Your Cooking Skill

How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.

If you are cooking with oil, do not pour it directly into the middle of the pan. Instead, pour it on the side of the pan, so it will heat before it reaches the food. This will give your food the flavor you crave.

When cooking or preparing for someone important, such as your boss or a new date, it is best to cook food that you are good at. Stay away from using new ingredients, or a new recipe. This will take the stress out of the cooking.

Do you have a difficult time deciding how long you should grill your meat? You can purchase a meat thermometer to ensure that the inside of your grilled meat is cooked to satisfaction. Meat that is thicker than an inch and a half should be cooked with the lid of the grill closed.

When you are making chicken stock, think big. Make sure that you prepare a large amount of stock so that you will have more than enough to store and use for future kitchen adventures. Good homemade chicken stock is a wonderful base in soups, stews, casseroles and more. After the liquid has cooled you can store it in heavy-duty freezer bags.

When cooking vegetables, try cooking them in chicken broth. Cooking vegetables in chicken broth is a low-fat, flavorful option. Chicken broth is easily purchased at almost every supermarket, and is quite inexpensive.

To saute vegetables, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter. Broth will flavor the vegetables, and less oil will be needed to saute them. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.

Do not use any kind of wine in your cooking that you haven’t tasted on your own. If you cook with an unfamiliar wine, you run the risk of disliking the taste of the wine and having it ruin your food. When in doubt, use a wine designed for cooking.

Tomatoes can be easily dried. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Lay your tomato slices across a cooling rack with the cut-side facing up, and salt them lightly. Use a cookie sheet to hold the rack and set it in the oven at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

To reduce the amount of stress you experience when cooking a complicated dish, you can prepare some of the ingredients the night before you need them. There are a lot of things you can do ahead of time like chopping vegetables, measuring seasonings and gathering all the utensils you will need. Also verify that you aren’t missing any ingredients. When cooking time arrives, you’ll need only to be concerned with assembling and cooking the meal.

If you’d like to boost the flavors in your pasta sauce, it’s important to save the water you use to cook the pasta itself. Save around 1/4 cup of water and put it aside. When you are getting ready to mix the pasta and sauce together, pour in some of the water. Starch in pasta water has a thickening effect on your sauce, making it seem creamier.

The perfect sandwich can make any meal amazing, and spreading the topping evenly can make every bite complete. People often spread the mayonnaise too quickly, resulting in uneven tasting parts. If you spread mayo evenly, you will be sure that your sandwiches are flavorful.

The tips you just read about, can be put to good use if your incorporate them into your meals. As soon as you get a taste, you’ll be dying to cook more. You may even start to enjoy the time you spend cooking and be willing to try some new recipes to expand your daily menus. Try cooking from home.


Want To Learn To Cook And Love The Food You Make?

Do you love all sorts of food? Do you find sweets to be irresistible? Or, how about ethnic foods? Ever wonder how to prepare meals like this at home? It’s time to stop wishing and start cooking! These tips can help you learn how to cook great meals.

Spices need to be stored in a dark, cool area. They will not taste as fresh if they are exposed to light or warmth. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. Whole spices typically last longer than ground spices. Depending on the advice you’re reading, they can last from one to several years. In terms of lasting, remember it is the flavor of the spices that is usually the issue with the older spices losing their flavor. The color, fragrance and condition of the spice will often indicate its freshness. They’ll remain fresh longer if stored properly.

When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.

Boiling your vegetables can drain the vitamins and nutrients out of your vegetables and leave them in the water that you’ll drain from the vegetables after boiling. To get the greatest health benefit from vegetables, cook them quickly with methods like steaming or sauteing, or serve them raw.

Quickly cooking veggies is preferable to slow-cooking methods. The longer you cook vegetables, the less flavor and nutrition they have. Vegetables cooked in these ways make healthier side dishes and ingredients in recipes. Cooking vegetables as quickly as possible is key to preserving their nutrients.

Do you want to take the guesswork out of deciding how long to leave your meat on the grill? When grilling, use a good quality meat thermometer. A digital thermometer is best and will ensure that meat is cooked thoroughly and safely. If you are cooking thicker cuts of meat on the grill, for instance thicker than one and a half inches, close the lid to cook it faster.

When storing baking ingredients, such as flour and sugar, be sure to store them in air-tight food containers. You should keep your foods stored in a air tight container so they stay fresh for a long time. You buy them pretty much anywhere and they are a beneficial asset.

When purchasing your ingredients for preparing a recipe, you should read all of the labels. Ordinary cooking staples can contain polysyllabic artificial ingredients that are bad for you. Select ingredients that have little salt or sugar in order to make the healthiest meals possible.

When you cook a pumpkin, the first step is to slice in in half vertically. Take both halves with the cut sides down and place on different baking sheets to bake. Sprinkle a small amount of water on the baking sheets, and then bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around an hour.

If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. You could use chicken broth or juice, instead of water. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Using liquid substitutions in your cooking can increase nutrition and give a standby dish a new flavor.

You are likely a little closer to creating your own favorite meals at home if you have found the preceding tips helpful. Don’t be scared to take risks with your cooking, and try experimenting with different spices and flavors. You might find a new kind of favorite food while doing it! Be guided by your taste buds and the tips laid out here; find that chef inside of you!