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Posts Tagged ‘Sugar’

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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I admit I have been BAD.  Today seemed like license to kill day in terms of eat-all-the-sugar-you-want because tomorrow dawns early.   Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and like almost every year, I decide to give up all kinds of things mainly based in sugar.  Some years it’s ice cream, some years it’s chocolate and this year I’m shooting for the moon.  It’s got to be sugar this year for sure.  Because sugar is bringing on some addictive-like behaviors in me.  Not to mention a total loss of self-discipline and more importantly total disregard for the action/reaction results!  Sugar in, hips out. 

So like any true junkie about to attempt to go straight, I have over-indulged in chocolate and sugar for the last two days.  I didn’t start out with that intention, but things sure did escalate quickly into maniacal sugar begets sugar syndrome that every diet book warns you about.  

Last night, my Mah Jongg group met at my house and JUST to be nice (to whom I wonder) I decided to buy some dark chocolate-covered cranberries(well they sounded healthy) and overly-dyed red meringue.  Other than one bite someone else took I believe I ate the entire meringue!  Again, it was only egg whites AND sugar, lots of it.  What was left of those two treats were finished off by me tonight.  And you know sugar takes many forms; I had a huge bowl of pasta tonight with two meatballs and big slice of Tuscan bread and butter.  I know, I know, it sounds like a person on a suicide mission and there you see that is junkie behavior.  

SO tomorrow I have got to go cold turkey on sugar and most carbs.  If for no other reason than health.  Everyone in family has or had diabetes and many died from it.  My own sugar level is getting close to borderline and so I’m going to try and focus on that factor alone and as a side bennie lose some weight along the way.  

Wish me luck and strength and strong will and conviction and maybe I’ll make it not to Easter, but rather one day at a time.

English: Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Ch...

Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Christian on Ash Wednesday.

 

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If you have a holiday party invite in the next two weeks, I’ve got an idea for you!  Simple, creative, useful and it will last a whole lot longer than that bottle of red wine.  This one you will need to make ahead of time and by that I mean you just can’t throw it together the day of the party like my other quickie solution to last minute gift dilemma;  Hostess Gift with a Punch! December 8th-Count Down To Christmas 17 Days to Go

Scented Sugars

What a sweet treat!

What a sweet treat!

This gift requires a couple of Mason jars or glass containers which can be purchased at stores like The Container Store, Marshall’s Home Goods or Michael’s.  Of course I think using vintage mason jars (think yard/garage sale) would be really great.     Scented sugars can be used in coffee, tea, batter mixes, well just about anything you put sugar on.  You can use aromatic edibles such as geranium leaves, rose petals, vanilla beans and orange and lemon peel.  When using the lemons or oranges, wash the skin thoroughly, peel the skin and leave it out on a paper towel to dry out a bit for at least a day.

To create these pretty jars layer granulated sugar with the leaves or peel.  Seal in an airtight containers for a few days while the sugars absorbs the scents.  A gift of one or three in various sizes is sure to please and make a very, very sweet remembrance.

Scented Sugars recipe from Martha Stewart Living December/January-1993/1994

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Who ever said dessert isn’t healthy?  “Eat your fruits and veggies” – how many times have you heard that?  Here’s a great winter dessert that tasty, low-fat, sweet and tart and easy to make.

Filling

1/3 cup sugar

2Tbs flour

1 tsp. lemon peel

3/4 tsp lemon juice

3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced.

1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

Topping

2/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup brown sugar packed

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tsp cinnamon

2 T trans-fat-free margarine, melted

To prepare filling, combine sugar, flour and lemon peel in a medium bowl; mix well.  Add lemon juice, apples and cranberries; stir to mix.  Spoon into a large baking dish.

To prepare topping, combine oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in small bowl.  Stir in the melted margarine.

Sprinkle topping over filling.  Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and top is brown.

Heart-healthy recipe from United Health Care

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You can always learn something new, especially about food, cooking, baking and more.  It;s really a science, but of course you know that.

A Bunch of Bananas

  1. Take your bananas apart when you bring them home.  If you leave them all connected they ripen faster.
  2. Wrap your opened chunks in aluminum foil.  It will stay much fresher, longer and will not mold.
  3. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating; peppers with 4 bumps are firmer and better for cooking.
  4. To really make scrambled eggs or an omelet rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese or heavy cream, and then beat them up.
  5. For a cool brownie treat, bake brownies according to directions, then melt some Andes mints in a double boiler and pour over warm brownies.  Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
  6. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light garlic flavor and at the end if you want a stronger flavor.
  7. Heat leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove on med-low.  This keeps the crust crisp, no more soggy microwave pizza
  8. Next time you buy frosting in a can, put in a bowl and beat it with an electric mixer.  It will practically double the amount of frosting, so you can frost more cupcakes  and eat less sugar.
  9. To warm biscuits or muffins that have been refrigerated, put them in the microwave with a cup of water.  This will keep them moist and they will reheat faster.
  10. Chop up some Snickers bars  and sprinkle over some pared, cored apple slices and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.   Serve alone or with some vanilla ice cream

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Tasty Tidbits Tuesday

There will be NO canned jellied cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving dinner table this year.  For the past three years I’ve been making a delicious Cranberry-Ginger Relish AND also putting out some of that sugary sweet gelatinous purple glop known as Jellied Cranberry Sauce because one person says they like it. Nope, not this year!  You’ll just have to get over your fear of real fruit and texture!  This relish is truly delicious so I hope some of you will try it. You can make it at least 3 days in advance and for those of us who are hosting,,,,we know that’s a blessing.

1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup of sugar ( I use a slightly less)

1 TBS grated fresh ginger

2 TBS sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

In a large saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, ginger, and 2 TBS water to  a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the cranberries have popped. 10-15 minutes.  Stir in vinegar.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food

Remove relish from heat.  Cool to room temperature and serve or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Believe me you will never eat canned jellied cranberry sauce again (no offense to Ocean Spray).

fresh ginger, Ocean Spray jellied sauce,

Tangy Tart and Ruby Red

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