Posts Tagged ‘Honey’

This is one time you don’t have to look at the expiration date on a food item.  Believe it or not I have a list of 10 items that seem to have the shelf life of a millennium  and I don’t mean a Hostess Twinkie!

When stored properly — in an airtight container, kept in a cool, dry place — there are a number of pantry staples that can last just about forever.

We’re not talking until the end of time forever, although some of these staples just may hold up that long. Rather, when stored properly, these items can last years tucked away in the pantry.

The Twelfth Of Never Is A Long, Long Time!

The Twelfth Of Never Is A Long, Long Time!

The Simplest Reason Why Food Goes Bad
There are a number of reasons why food goes bad, but one of the main causes is bacteria growth. The main culprit for bacteria growth in food is moisture — when moisture is present, it creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

These foods either aren’t very susceptible to moisture and bacteria growth, or actively discourage bacteria (as in the case of alcohol). Others of these depend quite a bit on proper storage.

10 Foods That Can Last Nearly Forever
A common theme in extending the shelf life of these foods is storing them in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.

1. Salt: Salt is a preservative, and when stored in a cool, dry place, it will last a really long time.

2. Rice: While the shelf life of brown rice holds at about twelve months, white rice — including jasmine, basmati, and arborio varieties — will last indefinitely when stored properly.

3. Honey: Because this natural sweetener has a low water content, it can last for years when stored in a sealed container and kept in a cool, dry spot. Even if it crystalizes or the color changes slightly, don’t throw it out — it’s still perfectly safe to eat.

4. Sugar: Sugar is another sweetener with no expiration. This includes all varieties — white, brown, and powdered. Be sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent moisture from dampening the sugar.

5. Vinegar: While all varieties of vinegar won’t last indefinitely, distilled white vinegar will last forever.

6. Pure vanilla extract: Pure vanilla costs a good deal more than its imitation counterpart, and for good reason. Not only is there a huge difference in taste, but pure vanilla also lasts a lot longer.

7. Dried beans: Store dried beans in a dark, dry place and they will last indefinitely. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that older beans may require longer soaking and cooking times.

8. Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a go-to thickener for pudding, sauce, and gravy. Most recipes use only a couple tablespoons, yet cornstarch is usually sold in large packages, but don’t worry — this is totally okay since it doesn’t have an expiration date. Just remember to keep the lid completely sealed and store it in a cool, dark place.

9. Maple syrup: As long as it’s unopened, pure maple syrup will last forever.

10. Alcohol: Even if it’s been opened, distilled liquor — like vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, and tequila — will last forever.

This blog post has been excerpted from The Kitchn (http://www.thekitchn.com/) of http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

Thanks to my friend, Gail, chief sourcerer for Pbenjay for sending me the link to this article.

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L'Shana Tova

L’Shana Tova

For Jews around the world, this evening marks the beginning of the two day celebration of their New Year, Rosh Hashana.

The festival of Rosh Hashanah which means Head of the New Year is observed for two days beginning on the first day of the Jewish  year.  It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.  The explanation below was excerpted from the web site Chabad.org


The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof,  and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac  which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to God; we evoke Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, we listen to one hundred shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah services.

Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include: a) Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, and other special foods symbolic of the new year’s blessings. b) Blessing one another with the words “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim,” “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” c) Tashlich, a special prayer said near a body of water (an ocean, river, pond, etc.), in evocation of the verse, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.” And as with every major Jewish holiday, after candlelighting and prayers we recite kiddush and make a blessing on the challah.

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Honey Glazed Cornbread

Honey Glazed Cornbread

Now that we are nearing the end of my favorite season, summer, there is a plethora of Jersey tomatoes and corn available.  Oh it’s been a delicious summer all around.  I made my Garden State Gazpacho, we’ve eaten so many ears of corn I couldn’t guess how many and had Caprese salad often – love having a basil plant in the backyard.

As I was going through my emails, I came across a recipe that caught my eye and I can’t wait to try it out this weekend.  WHY?  Because it’s a corn bread that actually uses fresh kernels of corn.  This recipe is  a POW WOW original and I’m passing along their serving suggestions also;  Serve with eggs and bacon instead of toast, try it with a crunchy dinner salad and think about using this cornbread with ice cream and berries instead of shortbread.


1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2  tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

6 TBS melted butter, divided

4 TBS honey, divided

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (uncooked)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 9 baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and baking powder to combine

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 4 TBS of butter, 2 TBS honey, the egg and the buttermilk.  Mix all the ingredients to combine.

Gently fold in the corn kernels.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake the cornbread for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

While cornbread is baking, combine the remaining 2 TBS of butter with the 2 TBS of honey.  As soon as you remove the cornbread from the oven, brush the glaze on the top of the loaf with a pastry brush.  Let bread cool 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.



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Sweet potatoes Ελληνικά: Γλυκοπατάτες

Sweet potatoes Ελληνικά: Γλυκοπατάτες (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well it’s a week away and I still don’t know what I’m bringing as an hors d’ouevres since that is my assignment for Thanksgiving dinner.  This year we will be sharing the annual feast  with my daughter’s in-laws and other relatives of her husband.  It’s seems like there will be  a lot of famiglia!

But I digress, this post is about delicious and not quite ordinary side dishes.  I really wish I was supposed to bring one of them instead because most appetizers don’t travel well and it’s a 2 1/2 hour trip!

Since oven space is always at a premium Thanksgiving Day, you can make this dish ahead of time and reheat covered in microwave at dinner time.  


Preheat oven 450 degrees

1 TBS plus 1 tsp coarse salt

6 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise

6 TBS honey

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 small fresh red chile pepper, thinly sliced

2 TBS unsalted butter, melted

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 TBS fresh cilantro leaves

Bring a large sauce-pot of water to a boil, add 1 TBS salt.  Add sweet potatoes and boil 4 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  

In a bowl combien honey, lime juice, chile, butter and remaining teaspoon of salt and the pepper.  Add the sweet potatoes and coat with the marinade.  Put potatoes and any excess marinade in a 17″x12″ roasting pan.  Roast in oven 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally, till tender and caramelized.  Garnish with cilantro. 

Serves: 6-8  – Recipe from Martha Stewart Living


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Thursday’s Top Ten

Colds and Fevers: Hot water with lemon or hot lemonade will help relieve cold symptoms.  The steam from the hot liquids will help unclog congested nasal passages.  Adding honey to your tea will soothe a sore throat.

Skin Care: Slather on petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to moisturize C skin cheaply and effectively.  A 1991 University of California study showed that petroleum jelly actually repairs skin cells.

Wrinkle Remover: Beat two egg whites to meringue consistency;  apply to your face and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes.  Rinse with cool water.  The protein in the egg whites temporarily tightens pores for a more youthful look.  You’ll be wrinkle-free for an hour and half before turning back into Cinderella.

Warts: Rub castor oil on flat warts with a cotton swab twice a day until they disappear.

Guard Against Infection: Use honey to help promote healing of skin wounds.  Clean wound thoroughly, apply honey, and bandage securely.  Unprocessed honey (straight from the hive) works best at killing bacteria.

Oral Care: Chew on a sprig of fresh parsley for fresh breath.

Canker Sores: Relieve the pain of a canker sore and help it heal faster by squeezing the excess water from a teabag that’s been immersed in a glass of tepid water and applying it to the sore for a few minutes.

Headaches: Rub a mentholatum  ointment on your forehead and cover with an ice pack on a cold wet washcloth to ease a sinus headache.  It’s soothing and it helps open up the nasal passages.

Hiccups: Swallow a spoonful of sugar in one gulp with no water.

Stomach Upsets: Sip strong chamomile tea (steeped 10-15 minutes) if you have an upset stomach.  Peppermint or spearmint tea also soothe tummies, or try adding a few drops of spirit of peppermint to water or food.

petroleum jelly, vaseline

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

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