Quick solutions

So your main dish is on the way, but what the heck do you serve with it? These quick ideas will help you add touches that turn a ho-hum meal into a memorable one.

Make peace with flour using a shaker

Flour can be a nuisance, especially if you need just a little bit. Way back when I was cooking in a commercial kitchen, we had large flour shakers to easily coat counter surfaces, or as a thickener. I borrowed that commercial tool for my personal kitchen. My shaker holds about … Read more…

10-minute pizza: Take that, takeout!

It’s hard to believe that you can make a pizza from scratch faster than you can cook a frozen model, or order takeout. Just a teaser for a coming how-to, this pizza took me ten minutes to create, from the time I took the dough from the fridge, to when … Read more…

Avocado, tomato and egg pizza

I’ve always loved eggs, and never put much store in the terror that has surrounded them for decades (admittedly, I have been blessed with normal cholesterol levels). I can buy large, free-range, orange-yolked local eggs, and while they are more expensive than the supermarket brand, they still fall into the cheap-food … Read more…

Easy tuna for one

Canned tuna is a great time saver, and a quick healthy protein in a sandwich. However, a can of tuna provides two servings. I am a princess when it comes to leftovers, and don’t like day-old tuna salad. So … I simply divide the tuna in half, placing half in … Read more…

Real food flavor in a rush

How many times does a recipe, or food idea seem like a great idea … until you read the final entry: Place in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Groan! I can’t solve every instance of this mood-killing statement, but I can help when you are working … Read more…

Hot salt

I love specialty salt, especially grey salt, often from France, but many sea-side countries produce a gray salt. (I deliberately used the British spelling of grey to reflect the common spelling on this product.) I also love dried hot pepper flakes, especially if they are made from my own dried chilies.

Together, they make a spice mix that can pick up the flavor of almost any food.

Real-food Hummus on the fly

Hummus is high on a healthy food scale. The main ingredient is beans, a vegetable source of protein that costs little. The additions are simple, whole ingredients without down-sides. To buy ready-made hummus is costly, and to make it, easy. Throw ingredients in a food processor — done. However, I usually take it one step down the simplicity scale by skipping the food processor for small quantities of hummus.

No crackers? No problem!

Crackers seem like healthy food, but if you check into the nutrition information, you will find that most are loaded with salt and fat, plus come with a long list of strange additives. My general rule for food is that if I can’t pronounce an ingredient, I shouldn’t eat it. Crackers have plenty of tongue-twisting words in the ingredient list.They can also be pricey for the nutrition they deliver.You can easily make a much better cracker from tortillas.

Super fast dinner with cooked chicken

I won’t claim that this dinner is as fast as popping a pizza pop into the microwave, but it is in the same class. Same class for time, of course. In nutritional value and taste, this quick dish wins before the contest starts. The day was hot and I had … Read more…

Real food components: When it all comes together

When you are hungry on a busy Saturday, you are highly unlikely to put together a great lunch following a recipe. But when you run in, too hungry because you spent an hour doing one more thing before you stop for lunch, you can still have a great lunch when … Read more…

Creating real food sides on the fly

The difference between a good meal and a great meal is often the little sides or condiments you add to the main dish. This little cucumber salad is perfect to prepare as you wait for the meal to cook. Don’t think of this idea as a recipe, more like a … Read more…

(Relatively) Instant Soup from the Freezer

Starving. Cold. Soup was the answer, but it had to be in a hurry. So, I opened my freezer and 20 minutes later was sitting down to a hot bowl of Sausage Barley soup — from scratch. My friends and family shake their heads at me in the fall, when … Read more…

Make peace with flour using a shaker

Make peace with flour using a shaker
Flour shaker for easy kitchen use.
Flour shaker makes many jobs easy.

Flour can be a nuisance, especially if you need just a little bit. Way back when I was cooking in a commercial kitchen, we had large flour shakers to easily coat counter surfaces, or as a thickener.

I borrowed that commercial tool for my personal kitchen. My shaker holds about a cup, and has two openings: one for sprinkling, and one that I can dip in with a spoon for larger amounts of flour.

This one little addition to my kitchen makes me much more likely to use refrigerated bread dough, or even to make a few biscuits. A good example is the quick personal pizza I made in under 10 minutes. The rolling and pressing of the dough was so easy when I could sprinkle the exact amount of flour I needed.

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