Quickly Preserve Fresh Herbs in the Microwave

I buy and even grow many of our fresh herbs. This technique is great for saving them! From Food and Wine we see

How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave

If you like having fresh herbs around, but can’t use them up before they wilt, use your microwave to quickly dry them.

Lay the fresh herbs on a dry paper towel, then microwave them at 20 second intervals—flip them at every interval until they’re dried. This method is especially useful if you want to dry your herbs quickly so you can store them for future use rather than have them hanging around.

Supercharge Your Microwave

Microwave’s are great things. Now here are some interesting ideas to get even more out of that little science box in your kitchen – from MakeUseOf:

You Won’t Believe The Things You Can Do With A Microwave

A microwave is great for certain kinds of foods. For example, when you want to make some frozen pizza rolls, a microwave will do the job very well.But what if you want to make scrambled eggs? A microwave couldn’t possibly do that. You can’t use a microwave to make garlic easy to peel. right? Wrong, your microwave can do all that and more!

big   You Wont Believe The Things You Can Do With A Microwave

I Love Almonds!

I love almonds! I eat them almost everyday – either raw, roasted or in my green smoothie. I even love almond milk! Here are some interesting facts from NutriLiving:

What’s Going on with Almonds?

Did you know that California supplies 80 percent of the world’s almonds? Not only do they help manage weight and combat diabetes, they are also one of the most nutrient-packed tree nuts on Earth! Get your almond Blast ready with these fun facts about one of our favorite NutriBlast boosts!

 

Foods You Shouldn’t Refreeze After Thawing

Good to know! We freeze a lot of things to reduce waste (empty nesters here), but I will look at these tips before refreezing! Great tips from Kitchn:

5 Foods You Should Never Refreeze

TIPS FROM THE KITCHN

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Freezing food is a great way to have meals on the go and food stashed away to avoid last minute trips to the grocery store or ordering delivery. It also helps us not to waste food and is, in a sense, an extension of our pantry.

But we’ve all been there. We rifled through our freezer and pulled out a few things to thaw in the fridge and promptly forgot about them. Can you put it back in the freezer? Here’s a list of five things that you should avoid giving a refreeze and why refreezing in general is a big no-no.

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What Happens When You Freeze

Freezing anything ruptures some of the cell walls in the product at hand. It’s why frozen food doesn’t taste quite as good as fresh and why oftentimes frozen foods aren’t as expensive as their fresh counterparts, especially meat and seafood.

What Happens When You Refreeze

When you freeze, thaw and refreeze an item, the second thaw will break down even more cells, leaching out moisture and deliciousness and changing the integrity of the product.

The other enemy is bacteria. Frozen and thawed food will develop harmful bacteria faster than fresh. It’s not something you can see, so it’s easy to brush off, but the threat is real. Once the ice crystals from your food are gone, your food starts the clock on developing these nasty buggers.

Freezing and thawing of foods is a big safety concern and there are legal restrictions for the restaurant and grocery industries to help keep us all safe. Applying these same philosophies in our own home will ensure the same!

How to Handle Thawed Food

Your best bet will always be to cook or utilize what you thawed and if needed, refreeze the cooked product. That said, there’s not always time to cook it, so if you’re in a hurry and debating whether or not to throw it back in the freezer, keep in mind these five things that should never, ever be refrozen!

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1. Raw Proteins

This includes meats, poultry and seafood. If they were thawed in a chilled environment that’s less than 42 degrees (like your refrigerator), then it’s safe to refreeze. But if they thawed on the counter or have an off color or smell, they’re done!

Don’t forget that a lot of seafood, especially shrimp, arrive at the grocery store frozen but are defrosted to be put into the display case. They’ve already gone through a first freeze, so don’t put them in your home freezer for a second freeze!

2. Ice Cream

If you left it out on the counter so that it was easier to scoop and then forgot to put it back in the freezer quickly, just drink it as a milkshake and call it a day folks. Refrozen ice cream will have a weird, icy texture.

3. Juice Concentrates

Fermentation occurs quicker than you think in fruit-based products, so don’t forget that this goes for blended smoothies too.

4. Combination Meals

Eat up your casseroles, pot pies, stews, pastas, and the like or bring it for lunch so that it doesn’t go to waste. After all, it’s cooked and ready to go so it’s the easiest kind of homemade meal to have!

5. Cooked Proteins

Freezing leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken is a great idea, but then you pulled it out for salads a few weeks later and forgot about it in your fridge. Call some friends over and put the chicken on nachos ASAP, because it shouldn’t be refrozen!

Don’t forget that there are also some foods that you should never freeze in the first place! Check out that list before you stock up at end-of-season farmers markets!

Pair Food with your Spices

I love pairing – wine and food or in this case spices with food! Take a look at this handy chart that Lifehacker brings us on

How to Pair Your Spices with Food

This Chart Tells You How to Pair Your Spices with Food

(click on the graphic above to go to the full chart)

Mixing herbs and spices in meals can be healthy, but you still need to know which spice goes with what ingredient. Spice Advice has a chart you can refer to for quick decisions.

The spreadsheet covers everything from allspice to thyme, and is divided into different ingredients or dishes:

  • Appetizers
  • Soups
  • Eggs & Cheese
  • Meats
  • Fish & Seafood
  • Salads
  • Sauces & Relishes
  • Vegetables
  • Breads & Desserts

While not a comprehensive list, it should cover most common foods and spices. It’s not an easy link to remember, so bookmark it.

Spice Usage Tips | Spice Advice via Reddit

Candy and Wine Pairing

From one of my favorite wine apps (Vivino) we get this great infographic on

The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Wine with Halloween Candy

Nobody likes messing up their food and wine pairings. It can ruin your food, your friendships, and worse yet, your wine.

With Halloween just around the corner, we know you’re stressing about pairing wine with candy. No worries, we’ve got you covered.

With this easy-to-use infographic, you can find out which wines work with which candies, so you know just the wines and candies to indulge in this October.

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