All Things Food

All posts in the All Things Food category

Homeschooling: Life Skills

Published October 12, 2017 by lynn k scott

This year, our homeschooling journey has landed in the 6th grade.  In addition to my daughter learning how to take detailed notes, beginning to independent research, math, grammar, science, etc., she participates in Life Skills.

If we were in a brick and mortar school, the skills she is learning might be classified as home economics.  However, it’s more than just that.  She is learning to make grocery shopping lists, assisting with pet care, cooking for herself as well as her family, doing laundry, etc.

In our home, my husband doesn’t cook.  It’s a fact; he doesn’t know how.  I, on the other hand, have a catering and hospitality background, so I am passing my cooking and baking knowledge to her.chicken adobo

Since school began in August, she has learned to and can make grilled cheese, fried hot dogs, fried eggs, chicken adobo with rice and ramen.  She has been exposed to making pot roast, pan-seared pork chops (finished in the oven) and baked chicken and chicken wings.

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Now, to be be fair, the chicken adobo and rice shown are actually for a church event, but it’s the same food she proudly makes for her family ever week now.  She won’t even let me make it any more and gives ME tips on what I should be doing in the kitchen.  If she only knew, I’ve been at this about 30+ years longer than her.  It’s a cute sentiment though.

In addition on learning important cooking skills, when she has to follow a recipe and using measuring cups and/or spoons, she is reinforcing her fractions.

Lastly, spending time in the kitchen will create memories that one day, she will remember as she stands in her kitchen, showing her children, what I taught her.  Life skills….so important….not just in a technical sense.

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Reblog: One Pan Roasted Lemon Potatoes and Asparagus with Salmon

Published March 8, 2017 by lynn k scott

You know I love one pan meals. Less pots and pans means less clean up! What I like even more is not having to cook it too. I was away for the day with my daughter while she danced. When we got home my partner had dinner ready for us. As she was looking around […]

via One Pan Roasted Lemon Potatoes and Asparagus with Salmon — What’s for Dinner Moms?

Please visit the original post to leave a comment….Thanks!

Must have Pot!

Published February 17, 2017 by lynn k scott

…the Instant Pot that is!

I admit it…I’m a kitchen gadget-holic.  I don’t go to meetings, because I openly acknowledge my appliance, gadget, cookware addiction.  I embrace it!

This past December, at my husband’s company Christmas party, I was able to select the Instant Post Duo 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker.  I had been eyeing this for quite some time, however, being the cheap-o that I am, refused to shell out $100+ for another gadget.  Plus, my husband might’ve divorced me.  I buy kitchen gadgets/appliances like he buys car parts (5 cars/2 drive…just saying).                                                                                                                     20170111_183616.jpg

Needless to say…I am addicted!!!  Some people call it a “magic pot” and it can feel that way.  When I can cook an entire, whole chicken in 25 minutes…it’s a bit magical.  Granted, it’s a pressure cooker, not an oven, so there’s no crispy skin.  Some people will pop that chicken into the oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp the skin, but I don’t normally eat the skin anyway.   I also love using chicken quarters (pictured) and shredding them for tacos or enchiladas.

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While the chicken is resting, let’s use some of that leftover cooking liquid and make some rice pilaf!  There’s even a rice button.  It doesn’t get simpler than that.

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Chicken not your thing?

What about hard-boiled eggs?  Can you believe just 4 minutes in the Instant Pot (commonly referred to as the IP), 4 minutes of natural release and 4 minutes in an ice bath.  Done!  The shells peel off much easier too.

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Trying to eat healthier…how about some homemade Greek yogurt?  I go through a lot of yogurt.  For gluten-free yogurt, it costs just under $3.50 for a 32-ounce container.  For about $2.50, I can turn an entire gallon of milk into a 64-ounces yogurt.  Then I strain it from the whey and I have Greek yogurt.  The whey can be used in making bread, smoothies and all sorts of baking options.  Take some of the yogurt, blend in some berries (maybe a bit of honey) and make homemade yogurt pops…DELICIOUS!

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One of the best aspects of the Instant Pot is I can come home, make a meal that takes hours in just about 30-minutes.  I used to use the crock pot.  However, that would finish hours before I got home, turn itself to warm and sometimes the meat would be dry.  No more. Those days are over!

There’s a Facebook group IP Community.   There’s another Facebook group just for IP recipes!  My addiction has come “full circle” and I’ve added a second Instant Pot to my counter tops.  I couldn’t help myself.  The first one was free (from the party) and there was one at the flea market, brand new, for $50 (SQUEAL of excitement)!!!  Ok, so I took the money from my truck payment; don’t judge me.  I just had to have it.  My husband rolled his eyes.  He knew it was coming home with us.

I have the ability to have an IP just for making yogurt and one for savory dishes.

So, if you’re a foodie…this is a kitchen must-have.  If you’re going to a wedding or housewarming…bring an Instant Pot and you’ll be the favored guest for quite some time.

 

Dutch Bros. Coffee

Published August 24, 2016 by lynn k scott

I admit it; I love coffee.  Now, I’m not a coffee snob, however, I choose not to give my hard earned money to the “Evil Empire”.  I won’t say say them by name (because I really dislike doing that).  However, unless you live in a cave, they are the coffee company that’s literally on just about every street corner, they heat their milk too hot and it’s just a mediocre product, at best.  Ok, so I really dislike them.  Alas, I digress…

Within the last couple of years, a new coffee place has emerged, called, Dutch Bros.  I really enjoy their large, hot, caramelizer.  I don’t do cold coffee…ok, maybe I’m a smidgen of a coffee snob.

My 10-year old daughter adores going to Dutch Bros.  When I treat myself to a coffee, she is typically treated to a medium, chocolate Frost (aka a milkshake).  I should interject, there is a Dutch Bros. in the city we live in, but I typically frequent the one near my job, as it’s closer to me.  My daughter actually comes to work with me, before and after school, because her school is near my job.

That being said, a few times, I have had to sneak out to get my coffee when she has been with her friends or at school.  Dutch Bros. has a stamp card too.  Every 10 drinks, gets you a free one.

Now, I used to leave the stamp card in the center console of my pickup.  Until one weekend, we were waiting for my husband to pickup his car and she started looking at the card.  UT OH!!!  This child remembers EVERYTHING!  I swear, she’s part elephant….

I see her start counting the stamps.  As she is always with me, the stamps should be an even number.  Now, I’m in trouble.  I hear, “You went to Dutch Bros. without me?”  She sounded dejected.  I confirmed I did, out of exhaustion, one day.  That was true, I had been exhausted.  My sad child turned into a psychotic demon, who I could have sworn was foaming at the mouth and in a demonic voice bellowed, “YOU WENT TO DUTCH BROS. WITHOUT ME!!!!”

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I was in trouble.  For all you parents who have ever silently eaten a cookie or piece of candy, that you had hidden from your children, and then get busted mid-chew…I was busted like that.

It cost me a a Frosty to make it up to her.  I’m such a softie (and ok, she’s a bit spoiled too). Now the card is kept in my wallet, for I still sneak a coffee here and there.  The other day, as I was paying for our drinks, she said, “let me see that card”.  Oh boy…she’s on to me.  I laughed it off and quickly changed the subject.  I know she didn’t buy it.  It will cost me later on; of this I am sure.  She’s holding out for when she really needs to use it against me.

We do enjoy Dutch Bros. very much.  They have good products, reasonably priced and the customer service is stellar (no matter which location we’ve used).  Plus, I love my daughter’s pure joy and over-excitement at being treated to her favorite drink:  a chocolate frosty (esp. when she gets a pink straw)!

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Box It Up

Published August 23, 2016 by lynn k scott

School is in full swing, at least in our little corner of the world it is.  Since organization is the name of this school year game, I’ve purchased a little box to help make lunches more fun and convenient this year.

I stumbled across this little box known as a Bento Box.  If you’re familiar with Japanese culture at all, I’m sure you have heard of this compartmental box for meals.  This one happens to be plastic.  While, I personally, prefer glass, we are talking about a 10-year old and taking lunch to school.  I need the container to survive after all.

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As you can see there are a plethora of combinations that could be utilized.  My daughter goes through phases of what she feels like eating.  Sometimes she wants a sandwich, other times just sandwich meat, sometimes just a bit of this and that. Prior to the week beginning, I cut up different fruits, if needed, so I can refill her container each night.  This has been such a time saver!

Whether she feels like being vegetarian for the day or carnivorous, there are spaces to satisfy her appetite.  This week she is focusing on salami slices, fruit and she’s adding grape tomatoes.  One of the pics shows how hard-boiled eggs can be substituted as the protein, instead of meat slices.  Another option would be to make a garden salad or add a pasta salad by removing the compartments.  It works for young and older kids, or even adults taking their lunches to work.

When all has been decided upon, simple snap on the lid, another bonus (it stays closed), and set it in the fridge until the morning.

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 Then add to a reusable lunch bag, a small ice pack to keep it all cool and in a blink of an eye, lunch is ready to go to school with your little one.

I wish waking them up and getting them dressed was that easy!

If you like this particular bento box, you can find it here.

 

 

 

Snack Pack Hack

Published August 21, 2016 by lynn k scott

It’s Sunday and there’s school in the morning.  If you’ve got kids in school, odds are you have lunches to make.  My daughter rarely purchases lunch from school and this year it’s not even an option; as the government made it non-cost efficient to offer one while conforming to their rigid guidelines.  I’m ok with that; I prefer sending in her food with her.

Now, I’m not a morning  person; regardless of what my sleeping schedule may say to the contrary.  I do my best to set the coffee up the night before.  After all, that is my life blood and it’s what saves the world from ultimate destruction should I not have that vital liquid.

I’ve a got a tween in the house (pre-teen, that is) and her appetite is increasing.  So, I give some snacks she likes as well as some healthy ones I know she will eat as well.  One of her favorite go-to snacks are the Pepperdige Farm Goldfish Crackers.

Tonight, I purchased a 30 oz. box of the crackers and planned to divide them up.  I took a sandwich bag and filled it half-way with goldfish.  I did this 16 times until the box was emptied.

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Now, instead of having a bunch of loose snack packs in my cabinet, I cut off the top of the goldfish box, wiped it out  and then restack the snack packs in the box.  This way, for the next 16 lunches I prepare (about 3 weeks’ worth), I just grab one each evening and put it in her lunch bag.

Of course I did the math.  This box cost me $5.98.  When I divide that by 16 snack packs I made by the cost of the box.  It comes out to about $0.37 each.  If you were to buy the individual snack packs from Pepperidge Farm, then you’d pay at least 10 cents more per pack and it would include less crackers.  By creating my own snack packs and storing them in their original container, I’ve saved at least $1.60 on this one snack.

Place the box in the cabinet and it stays organized and I’ll know when I’m getting low on my daughter’s favorite snack.  A little planning ahead can make the mornings run much smoother, esp. since getting up before the sun rises is one of my least favorite activities.

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Crock Pot Caramel

Published August 13, 2016 by lynn k scott

My favorite season of the year is almost here; no not the season with a bearded fat man in a red suit.  The season right before that; where leaves turn vibrant shades of oranges, reds and yellow, before they detach from the trees and begin to litter the ground.  Fall!  That’s the best season of the year (to me anyway).

That being said, it’s also the time some of my favorite dishes are made.  Ok, who am I kidding, I make fall food year round, but for most people, they tend to stick to seasonality when cooking.

Last night, I made a Fall staple that you must have in order to make caramel apples: Caramel.  I like to make it in the crock pot, simply because it allows me not to stand at the stove and there literally is no clean-up.

All you need is a crock pot, a can of sweetened condensed milk, three 4-oz mason jars and that’s it!

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Simply open the can and pour equally into the three 4-oz mason jars.  Set the mason jars into the crock pot, uncovered.

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Carefully, add enough water to cover the jars to where the milk stops.  This is how the milk will cook evenly; surrounded in water. Add the lid to the crock pot and set the cooking temperature to low and eight hours.

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I like to do this overnight or when I’m gone all day at work.  Then it’s ready when I wake up or come home and I am not hovering over it hoping it miraculously finishes quicker. Carefully, remove the jars and place on a heat-protected surface to cool.

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In addition to being able to use this caramel to cover apples for Halloween, you can use it as a great school or work snack.  Pour a bit of caramel into a container, pack some apple slices and a snack is ready to go.  You can use it to drizzle over baking creations or simply eat it with a spoon, if that’s your prerogative.

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