Category Archives: Food

Impressive Household Uses for Mayonnaise

You may have heard of using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to clean your oven, but did you know the many different household uses for mayonnaise? There are loads! It may seem surprising, but this everyday condiment can actually work wonders on many areas of your home and even help to keep your skin and hair healthy and fresh.

Removing Sticky Products

There is nothing more frustrating than having to sit and scratch at some new makeup or your shiny new mug, because of the sticker residue underneath. It can often be a painful, time wasting process that sometimes doesn’t even get resolved. This is where mayonnaise comes in very handy. Place a scoop of mayonnaise onto a J-Cloth and rub it gently over the sticky area. Whilst the mayonnaise won’t eliminate all residue, it will certainly help to loosen the area and make it much easier for you to scratch off the remaining section.

Mayonnaise Moisturiser

It doesn’t seem like a nice product to put onto your skin, but if you have any itchy or dry areas then you should try applying some mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is a thick product that will help to add moisture to the dryer areas that will last for a while. You often find that many skincare products have added ingredients that can cause the skin to dry out, but mayonnaise is ideal for targeting the drier areas and working on them instantly. Just remember to wash it off properly, as it can be a little greasy if you apply too much!

Polish Silverware

After trying time and time again to clean your silverware with no streaks, you often find yourself giving up when the streaks reappear after 10 minutes. Using a polishing cloth, apply some mayonnaise to your silverware, rubbing it thoroughly into the material. You can also use mayonnaise for silver jewellery, as the ingredients in mayonnaise will help to remove the excess dirt and get your silver back to its shiny state.

Stop the Squeak

You may have tried applying all kinds of different products to your kitchen cupboard doors when they begin to squeak, but you probably noticed that none of the products seem to work very well. Squeaky hinges can be a very irritating issue, especially when you waste time and money on products that end up failing to work. By applying mayonnaise to your kitchen cupboard doors, you will slowly start to notice that the squeak fades away. The best thing about this tip is that the mayonnaise is much cheaper than any product you would buy in the shops, so you’re saving yourself some money too!

Shiny Stainless Steel

In order to make your kitchen appliances as squeaky clean as possible, you need to scrub them down with some mayonnaise. Mayonnaise will help to remove any residue or dirt that has built up on your stainless-steel appliances and will leave a fresh, shiny finish. You can then wipe the mayonnaise off with a dry J-Cloth or some kitchen roll and you’ll notice there are no streaks or marks left behind.

Remove Crayon Marks

Whether it’s in the playroom, living room or bedroom, the last thing you want to be greeted with after a long day, is a special greeting from your little ones drawn on the wall with crayon. Crayons are a waxy finish and therefore take forever to get off paint. Mayonnaise, however, works through the wax and helps to unstick the crayon from the surface. Applying mayonnaise to your affected areas will help to remove the crayons, without leaving any nasty marks behind on your beautiful bedroom walls!

Explore Fall Produce With These Hearty Recipes

Move over, berries and peaches. It’s now officially autumn, and that means a whole new lineup of options from the garden. The fall is when root vegetables, gourds and cruciferous veggies rule, so you’ll be seeing produce like sweet potatoes, broccoli and squash appearing in the grocery store. If you’ve always been curious about fall produce but never really ventured into cooking it, now is your chance. We’ve gathered a few simple recipes to give you started in the tasty world that is fall produce.

Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli Slaw

1 small head broccoli|
6 ounces Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1/2 oz. Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Black pepper
1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted
1/4 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped

Trim broccoli stalk and peel. Halve head lengthwise. Starting at the crown, thinly slice both halves. Combine broccoli and Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and toss with 1/2 tsp. salt. Let sit 10 minutes to soften slightly.

Meanwhile, chop anchovies, then mash them into a paste. Combine anchovies, grated Parmesan, oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over slaw; toss to coat. Serve topped with olives, almonds, and shaved Parmesan.

Note: The slaw can be made a day in advance. Cover and chill. Add almonds just before serving.

Sous Vide Anise Carrots

½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon star anise
½ cup orange juice
¼ oil
30-40 baby carrots, cleaned

Combine wine, honey, star anise and orange juice in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium until reduced by half. Add oil. Whisk until combined, then remove from heat and strain.

Place carrots in vacuum bag, then pour sauce over the top. Seal and put into a Cook & Hold oven that has its vents open. Cook at 180°F for four hours.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Curry

1 two-pound butternut squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger root, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth
2 firm ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 cup half and half

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until very soft, about 45 minutes. Scoop the pulp from the peel, and reserve.

Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and salt. Cook and stir until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and bring to a boil. Stir in the pears and the reserved squash and simmer until the pears are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Carefully blend in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the half and half and reheat.

Cauliflower Ceviche

1 head cauliflower, finely chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups spicy vegetable juice
¾ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon soy-based liquid seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cauliflower until cooked through but firm to the bite, about five minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Mix cauliflower, cucumber, onion, tomato, cilantro, and chiles together in a large bowl. Add vegetable juice, lime juice, chili powder, soy-based seasoning, and Worcestershire, stirring after each addition. Season with salt.

Never Underestimate the Versatility of Chickpeas

Chickpeas

The chickpea may not seem like much. You may pass them in the grocery store week in and week out, never giving them a second thought. Well, now’s the time to entertain them. For one thing, chickpeas are incredibly good for you, and very filling: A cup of chickpeas packs as many as 15 grams of protein! That’s incredible, especially for vegans and vegetarians who crave new ways to stay full. Plus, you can get a single can of chickpeas for next to nothing, and create any number of different dishes with it.

Maybe that’s the surprising thing about chickpeas: They’re incredibly versatile. Perhaps you cannot name a single chickpea dish off the top of your head—but just you wait. We’ll show you just how much you can do with a simple can of chickpeas.

All the Ways to Enjoy Chickpeas

Just consider some of the many ways you can prepare chickpeas:

Roast ‘em. One of the easiest things you can do is toss them into the skillet with some olive oil and a few other veggies, or even fruits; one time-honored concoction is roast chickpeas with fennel, bell peppers, and red grapes.

Put them in a salad. Here’s a beloved vegan Caesar salad recipe: A traditional salad with chickpeas and sliced avocado thrown on top. It’s delicious—and oh so filling, the chickpeas offering protein and the avocado providing healthy fat.

Roll ‘em into a patty. Chickpeas can make great building material for a great vegetarian burger patty. Put a burger on the grill and make some baked fries to serve alongside it!

Use then in grain-free dessert. Believe it or not, there are many flourless dessert recipes that use chickpeas instead of traditional gluten and grains; try a chickpea blondie with chocolate chips, for instance!

Make a sandwich. One option: A chickpea, blue cheese, and grape salad, served on a bakery-style bun with tomato and lettuce. Yum!

Serve ‘em on toast. Try a rosemary mushroom ragout served over a nice, crunchy slice of toasted bread.

Don’t forget the obvious one. Of course, falafel is the dish most commonly associated with chickpeas—and one you’re going to want to sink your teeth into, if you haven’t already! A close second place: Hummus, another chickpea dish that many American diners are pretty familiar with.

The bottom line: Chickpeas are affordable. They’re easy to get. They’re good for you. And there are so many tasty ways in which you can use them. Have you made chickpeas a staple of your diet? If not, there’s no time like the present. Certainly, you’ve got a lot of options for how you want to prepare and consume them!

Wellness Wednesday: Food and Shame

Food and Shame…don’t they often go together?

I wanted to bring food and shame up today because this time of year we’re deluged with articles such as “Eat Smart During the Holidays”, “Healthy Eating During the Holidays”, “Eating as a Role Model During the Holidays”, and “5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain”.

While the intention of these articles is to help a person, often it does quite the opposite causing confusion, overwhelm, and even guilt.

I don’t know about you, but in years past, I’d swear that because I was on some diet or another, that I would stick with the eating plan throughout the holidays. I’d skip the Christmas candy, I’d plan on not eating the lasagna my mom made every year, and I definitely wouldn’t eat the 24 hour salad that my grandma was famous for.

And every single year, I’d be standing around the food making deals with myself. I’ll only take a spoonful of this and a half a spoonful of that. I’ll workout more tomorrow. I’ll skip breakfast for the rest of the week so that my calories in would be less than my calories out for the week.

Then I would come down on myself hard: Well, I’ve already blown it so why bother worrying about what I’m eating now? I’d have another cookie and then 5. The chocolate covered cherries disappeared by the box. Why am I such a loser? Why can’t I just control myself?

Guilt that I didn’t stick to the plan. Shame that I couldn’t control myself. I’d lost my battle with food again.

But here’s the thing. Food and shame have no business being in the same sentence or the same thought.

Did you hear me? I’ll say it again.

Food is as necessary as air and water, yet we wrap it up in shame, embarrassment, and guilt until it completely lacks pleasure and becomes a source of constant stress.

From the beginning of time, food has held much more importance to humans than simply fuel, although it is that. Food can be used as a tool to manipulate our bodies-to build muscle and provide energy for the actions we need to do. But it is so much more. Food is how we bond and how we commune with each other. Food is often what brings families together. It plays a major role in our celebrations and traditions.

Food (in general) is not the villain when it comes to health. How we view food is where the problem lies. Food isn’t the enemy. Our emotions associated with food-the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment, and the stress we place upon ourselves with those emotions-that’s what we need to work on.

What’s the solution?

First, we need to disassociate ‘diets’ with health. No way of eating that involves restriction will ever be successful for the long haul. And yes, there will be those few people who will say that it’s worked for them. Good for you. For the majority, it just won’t work.

Second, let’s let go of the notion that there are ‘good’ foods and ‘bad’ foods. I know that people will argue this by saying that over-processed food-like substances are ‘bad’ foods, and I understand that. But what I’m talking about here is vilifying food. Allergies aside, cookies, for example, won’t hurt you. Eating them all day every day won’t do you any good either. Raw vegetables are known to be very healthy for you. But only eating raw vegetables every single day can cause very serious malnutrition issues in someone who doesn’t digest raw vegetables well.

Third, we all need to learn to be more gentle with ourselves. If we’re trying to follow a certain way of eating, and eat the ‘wrong’ thing, we didn’t ‘blow’ anything. There’s no place for dogma with food. Again, health reasons aside, there are no hard and fast rules for right and wrong with food. Give yourself a break. If you have a hard time with this, here’s an idea. The next time you’re giving yourself a good mental beating for eating too much or eating the wrong food, ask yourself if you’d say the same thing to your best friend if she was in your position.

Lastly, take pleasure in your food. Savor it. Spend time smelling, chewing, tasting, and feeling the texture of the food in your mouth. Think about the work that went in to preparing the food. Take the opportunity to be thankful for the food you have.

Hobo Stew : Use up your food bits!

Since we’re getting ready to pack up our house (Moving day is only 21 days away. Woohoo!!), I’ve been hesitant to buy too many groceries. We’ve been concentrating on cleaning out the freezers and eating what we have on hand.

This has led to some interesting meals…

And some less than enthusiastic children when it comes to mealtime.

One of the favorites (according to two kids) and one of the least favorites (the soup hater) has been my version of freezer stew or as Punkin calls it “Hobo Stew”.

soup preparation

Months ago, I put a container of soup in the freezer. It had been such a huge batch that no one wanted to finish it after eating it for several days in a row. I knew that the chances it would ever get thawed out and eaten were slim, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw out perfectly good soup.

Then I read Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides. In the book, they describe how they have a freezer container that they throw all their little leftovers in. When it’s full, they make it into a soup.

It sounded good to me!

On top of the soup already in the freezer went some more soup of another kind, then some gravy, some ground turkey that had been seasoned for burritos, and whatever else I don’t remember.

Yesterday I realized that the container was full and I either had to thaw it out or throw it out. Thaw it out it was!

To this delectable meal was added leftover juice from italian beef that I’d frozen with the intention of making more italian beef (yeah, that didn’t happen) and a few odds and ends that were hanging out in the frig from the past week.

The kids groaned.

One asked if he had to eat.

I bribed them with buttery rolls.

With much trepidation, the kids bent over their soup bowls and slurped the first spoonful.

Jeers turned to cheers! It was, according to our resident soup aficionado Peanut, “Some of the BEST soup ever!”

I do have to admit, it was pretty fantastic. Like I said, I’m not sure what all was in there, but whatever it was it worked.

When I look back at all the little bits we’ve tossed (You know what I’m talking about…the tiny little bit of veggies, the tiny amount of leftovers that get scraped into the garbage.), I wish that I hadn’t been so hesitant (or would have remembered) to throw them into the freezer soup container.

In our new house, this container will take a much more prominent spot in our freezer in anticipation of a delicious, unique meal that is ready within minutes.

Use up your food bits! Start your Hobo Stew container today.

Do you already do this? How do you make sure you use all your leftovers?