How to …

Learning to cook is not the slow and gradual process it was just a generation or two ago. Television cooking shows, the Web, cuisine specific cooking classes have all created an environment where you may be able to cook a perfect souffle, but can’t poach an egg. This section is devoted to basic techniques that can make cooking real food much easier and faster.

Freezing meat with options

Freezing meat allows you to keep real ingredients on hand … But how do you know how much of any one item you will need? Small families sometimes have guests, and even large families can need just a bit of a frozen meat. Cut all the guess work by spending a little time on shopping day to freeze “with options.”

Spice control for real cooking

You can’t make real food without spices. Period! Real food ingredients come in a naked state. That’s what makes them perfect. A blank canvas to paint your next meal, reflect your mood and custom-tease your senses. But you need a good method to store and use spices to unlock the full potential of spices in your cooking.

Roasted peppers are worth the work

Warning! This is not one of my simple tips. Making roasted peppers takes time. It’s fiddly. It’s also worth it. I’ve tried bottled roasted red pepper, and while I don’t know exactly how they make them, I taste a chemical undertone every time. The version you can buy at an … Read more…

Real food variety: Around the world with a pot of stew

One of the best parts about cooking real food, is that you can change your mind in an instant. You might feel like Thai food on Saturday when you are shopping, but on Wednesday, you are leaning to Mexican. I’m spoiled, but I am spoiled because I have those choices. This article illustrates the freedom of real food with total transformations of basic crock-pot stew.

Healthy Cream of Anything Soup

It’s June, but it’s also a blustery. and cold. Soup required. There is nothing faster, or feels better than a warm bowl of soup. Good pre-made soup is very expensive. Cheap soup is not good. All but the premium-priced, organic, canned or packaged soups have an ingredients list that would test a professional chemist’s knowledge.And if you think you are doing yourself a favor to buy a ready-made version from a large grocery store, really do yourself a favor and request a nutrition statement.

There is a real-food option. In fact, homemade soup is a very simple meal …

Real food basics: Poached Eggs

Poached eggs are universally loved. Some would even call a perfect poached egg on toast comfort food. Poaching an egg free-floating in water is not hard, unless you hate your eggs wandering all over the pan, and don’t mind water on your toast. There are dedicated appliances for poaching eggs. … Read more…

Chicken stock the easy way

You can buy good chicken stock today. If you are willing to pony up some serious money, you can buy great chicken stock. However, I have never seen honest-to-goodness stock in a tetra pack. Homemade stock is thick, often solid when cold from the gelatin released from the bones. My … Read more…

Instant Steel Cut Oats

Everyone knows that oatmeal is a healthy food, and the further up the chain to the whole grain, the better. However, cooking steel-cut oats, which is the least processed type of oatmeal available, can take 30 minutes or more. That is not going to happen for breakfast in most homes. … Read more…

Quick tip for small amounts of lemon rind

If you need the grated rind of a whole lemon, it is worth using a grater. However, when you are cooking small amounts, you will often require ½ tsp of grated lemon rind. I don’t like having to wash a grater for that small amount. You can easily accomplish the … Read more…

Instant Posole without a can

Posole is one of the best additions to my food life from my time in New Mexico. Posole is also known as hominy, but if you have only tasted canned hominy, don’t stop reading. There is no comparison between the canned product and soaking and cooking the dried corn at … Read more…

Preparing strawberries quickly

If you are trying to eat local strawberries year round (see why you should), you will be preparing a lot of berries at one time. Fresh locally-grown strawberries have a VERY short shelf, so you should plan to buy only what you can prepare immediately. Preparation is really quite simple, … Read more…

Try something new: Jicama

One of the best parts of real food today is the availability of strange foods, especially in the produce department. Jicama caught my attention many years ago, because I am a Canadian in love with Mexican food. For all the diversity in people and corresponding access to ethnic food, we … Read more…

Freezing meat with options

Freezer full of real food ingredients
Freezer full of real food ingredients
With a selection of single serving meats in the freezer, cooking real food becomes quick and easy.

Freezing meat allows you to keep real ingredients on hand. You can save plenty of money when buying in bulk quantities, or stocking up at special prices. Purchase extra amounts of specialty or hard-to-find cuts and save time and travel costs.

But how do you know what portion of any one item you will need? Small families sometimes have guests, and even large families can need just a bit of a frozen meat.

Read more…

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