Red Enchilada Sauce

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Two weeks was a scorching 102 degrees. Last week cloudy skies brought light showers accompanied by cooler weather. This week was back into the high 90’s. I know, more about right? It is October already! Mother Nature, not acceptable. Not acceptable at all! We will just have to go ahead and celebrate autumn without the fall weather. Solution? Bake some fall goodness and hope for a cooler reprieve.

Ginger cookies are my favorite fall cookie. It is also the only other cookie flavor besides sugar that we all agree on. This version of ginger cookies is my favorite egg free recipe. I have made baked goods using the flax + water. I have also used chia seeds mixed with water. Sometimes there is a noticeable difference in taste or texture though. However, with this recipe you would never know it does not contain eggs.

Source: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup rice or coconut milk
1 cup granulated or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons turbinado, demerra sugar or granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well.

Roll into 1-inch balls, roll in turbinado sugar. Place on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Flatten slightly into a 1 1/2 inch disk. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (don’t overbake!), let cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack.

Variations: – Replace the milk with applesauce.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Two weeks was a scorching 102 degrees. Last week cloudy skies brought light showers accompanied by cooler weather. This week was back into the high 90’s. I know, more about right? It is October already! Mother Nature, not acceptable. Not acceptable at all! We will just have to go ahead and celebrate autumn without the fall weather. Solution? Bake some fall goodness and hope for a cooler reprieve.

Ginger cookies are my favorite fall cookie. It is also the only other cookie flavor besides sugar that we all agree on. This version of ginger cookies is my favorite egg free recipe. I have made baked goods using the flax + water. I have also used chia seeds mixed with water. Sometimes there is a noticeable difference in taste or texture though. However, with this recipe you would never know it does not contain eggs.

Source: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup rice or coconut milk
1 cup granulated or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons turbinado, demerra sugar or granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well.

Roll into 1-inch balls, roll in turbinado sugar. Place on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Flatten slightly into a 1 1/2 inch disk. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (don’t overbake!), let cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack.

Variations: – Replace the milk with applesauce.
Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, visit it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.
I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.
I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.

Over the past year I have been taking a more vegetarian approach to cooking.  It is not that I am going vegan or anything, physician not yet anyway. Meat is just so darn expensive. The hurdle, healing when subbing meat with beans or vegetables, side effects is getting a thumbs up from the picky eater club (aka. husband and kidlets).

The first time I made black bean enchiladas it was not my intention to make them meat free. I got sidetracked and forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer over the weekend to thaw. Come Tuesday night (Mexican cuisine night) I realized my blunder. Needless to say my black bean enchiladas were a huge hit not only with my kids but the neighbor kids as well.

1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the black beans (if using unseasoned black beans drain and rinse first), lime juice, and cilantro.

Make the enchilada sauce.

Cover the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Fold the tortilla in thirds then place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the bean enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
– Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions.
I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.

Over the past year I have been taking a more vegetarian approach to cooking.  It is not that I am going vegan or anything, physician not yet anyway. Meat is just so darn expensive. The hurdle, healing when subbing meat with beans or vegetables, side effects is getting a thumbs up from the picky eater club (aka. husband and kidlets).

The first time I made black bean enchiladas it was not my intention to make them meat free. I got sidetracked and forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer over the weekend to thaw. Come Tuesday night (Mexican cuisine night) I realized my blunder. Needless to say my black bean enchiladas were a huge hit not only with my kids but the neighbor kids as well.

1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the black beans (if using unseasoned black beans drain and rinse first), lime juice, and cilantro.

Make the enchilada sauce.

Cover the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Fold the tortilla in thirds then place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the bean enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
– Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions.
1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, medications 1/4 teaspoon salt, buy more about 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions

I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.

Over the past year I have been taking a more vegetarian approach to cooking.  It is not that I am going vegan or anything, physician not yet anyway. Meat is just so darn expensive. The hurdle, healing when subbing meat with beans or vegetables, side effects is getting a thumbs up from the picky eater club (aka. husband and kidlets).

The first time I made black bean enchiladas it was not my intention to make them meat free. I got sidetracked and forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer over the weekend to thaw. Come Tuesday night (Mexican cuisine night) I realized my blunder. Needless to say my black bean enchiladas were a huge hit not only with my kids but the neighbor kids as well.

1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the black beans (if using unseasoned black beans drain and rinse first), lime juice, and cilantro.

Make the enchilada sauce.

Cover the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Fold the tortilla in thirds then place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the bean enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
– Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions.
1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, medications 1/4 teaspoon salt, buy more about 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions

This is by far my favorite enchilada sauce. In fact it is the only red enchilada sauce I use. So I thought it important to give it its very own post. Flour combined with chili powder are cooked until fragrant to give the sauce a deep robust flavor inherent to Mexican cuisine.

Enchilada Sauce:
Source: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, pilule minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons minced onion, order or 1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium. Stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour, cook until the sauce just begins to smell strong, a sort of burnt smell, and is slightly thickened,

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yields: Barely enough to make two 13X9 inch pans of enchiladas, without dipping the tortillas.

Seasoned Tilapia Fillets

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, find in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it. The hot sizzling juices burned their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together.

At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that is tasty and cost nothing extra.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, find in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it. The hot sizzling juices burned their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together.

At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that is tasty and cost nothing extra.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, nurse in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, cure tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, this web to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

Begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the chicken bones and all in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.

— Strain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Use as broth for rice or freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, find in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it. The hot sizzling juices burned their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together.

At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that is tasty and cost nothing extra.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, nurse in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, cure tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, this web to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

Begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the chicken bones and all in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.

— Strain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Use as broth for rice or freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Lately we have been learning all we can about South Korean customs. Such as it is bad luck to pour your own drink and always take your shoes off before entering ones home. Respect is of utmost importance in South Korea. The formality of Confucianism dictates so. It is a belief in a code of honor that is viewed as old fashioned by newer generations.

Generally most Koreans are warm and giving. They live by the age old traditions that when an elder enters a room you stand up. On the bus you offer them your seat. If someone is in need you help them. When accepting a gift use both hands to take it. And always be sure to say, page  “gamsa hapnida.” (Thank you)

The relationship between people of seniority is just as important. In fact, about it when adults speak to one another they use a formal form of speech; unlike when talking to a child or how youth of the same age converse. When addressing a person they always use the surname first. To call an acquaintance by their name would be considered informal and is frowned upon. For example, the name Eun Sun (first name) Park (surname) would be spoken Park Eun Sun. When familiar or given permission you can drop the surname. Interestingly enough even a slight inflection in the pronunciation of a name (similar to a nickname) is seen as informal.

When addressing a person of status always use their title or position first: including president, director, professor, doctor, Sunbea (senior at school). With permission a younger girl might use the term ‘Uhn-nee’ (meaning older sister) to address a female a few years older than she. A young male could call a female he is comfortable with ‘Noona’ (meaning sister). A female would call an older young male with whom she is close to ‘Oppa’.

Now on to the food! Maangchi’s tuna pancakes are amazing. My kids gobbled them all up. Do not let the word pancake confuse you. Jeon means pancake in Korean but it is basically a tuna cake. Like a crab cake. The onion and sesame oil are what what gives these little cakes flavor. I do not recommend omitting these ingredients as it would drastically change the taste.

Source: Maangchi
(Makes 6 small pancakes)
1 (5 oz) can of tuna
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons canola oil

Strain out the liquid from a can of tuna and place it in a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, sesame oil, and flour to the tuna and mix it well.

Heat oil in up a pan until hot.

Scoop a spoonful of the tuna mixture with a spoon and place it on the heated pan. Press slightly and round the edges with the spoon.

When the bottom is cooked golden brown, turn it over and cook until both sides of the pancakes are golden brown. About 3-5 minutes total.
Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and serve with rice.

Sauce: Mix the following ingredients
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
left over onions

** Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave or panfry.

Variations:
– Egg allergies: Egg can be omitted. No substitute needed.
– Gluten free: replace flour with corn flour.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, find in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it. The hot sizzling juices burned their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together.

At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that is tasty and cost nothing extra.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, nurse in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, cure tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, this web to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

Begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the chicken bones and all in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.

— Strain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Use as broth for rice or freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Lately we have been learning all we can about South Korean customs. Such as it is bad luck to pour your own drink and always take your shoes off before entering ones home. Respect is of utmost importance in South Korea. The formality of Confucianism dictates so. It is a belief in a code of honor that is viewed as old fashioned by newer generations.

Generally most Koreans are warm and giving. They live by the age old traditions that when an elder enters a room you stand up. On the bus you offer them your seat. If someone is in need you help them. When accepting a gift use both hands to take it. And always be sure to say, page  “gamsa hapnida.” (Thank you)

The relationship between people of seniority is just as important. In fact, about it when adults speak to one another they use a formal form of speech; unlike when talking to a child or how youth of the same age converse. When addressing a person they always use the surname first. To call an acquaintance by their name would be considered informal and is frowned upon. For example, the name Eun Sun (first name) Park (surname) would be spoken Park Eun Sun. When familiar or given permission you can drop the surname. Interestingly enough even a slight inflection in the pronunciation of a name (similar to a nickname) is seen as informal.

When addressing a person of status always use their title or position first: including president, director, professor, doctor, Sunbea (senior at school). With permission a younger girl might use the term ‘Uhn-nee’ (meaning older sister) to address a female a few years older than she. A young male could call a female he is comfortable with ‘Noona’ (meaning sister). A female would call an older young male with whom she is close to ‘Oppa’.

Now on to the food! Maangchi’s tuna pancakes are amazing. My kids gobbled them all up. Do not let the word pancake confuse you. Jeon means pancake in Korean but it is basically a tuna cake. Like a crab cake. The onion and sesame oil are what what gives these little cakes flavor. I do not recommend omitting these ingredients as it would drastically change the taste.

Source: Maangchi
(Makes 6 small pancakes)
1 (5 oz) can of tuna
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons canola oil

Strain out the liquid from a can of tuna and place it in a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, sesame oil, and flour to the tuna and mix it well.

Heat oil in up a pan until hot.

Scoop a spoonful of the tuna mixture with a spoon and place it on the heated pan. Press slightly and round the edges with the spoon.

When the bottom is cooked golden brown, turn it over and cook until both sides of the pancakes are golden brown. About 3-5 minutes total.
Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and serve with rice.

Sauce: Mix the following ingredients
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
left over onions

** Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave or panfry.

Variations:
– Egg allergies: Egg can be omitted. No substitute needed.
– Gluten free: replace flour with corn flour.
Source: Maangchi

Dough:

In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, ask or 100° F), sickness 2 ts dry yeast, price ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, find in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it. The hot sizzling juices burned their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together.

At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that is tasty and cost nothing extra.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, nurse in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, cure tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, this web to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

Begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the chicken bones and all in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.

— Strain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Use as broth for rice or freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Lately we have been learning all we can about South Korean customs. Such as it is bad luck to pour your own drink and always take your shoes off before entering ones home. Respect is of utmost importance in South Korea. The formality of Confucianism dictates so. It is a belief in a code of honor that is viewed as old fashioned by newer generations.

Generally most Koreans are warm and giving. They live by the age old traditions that when an elder enters a room you stand up. On the bus you offer them your seat. If someone is in need you help them. When accepting a gift use both hands to take it. And always be sure to say, page  “gamsa hapnida.” (Thank you)

The relationship between people of seniority is just as important. In fact, about it when adults speak to one another they use a formal form of speech; unlike when talking to a child or how youth of the same age converse. When addressing a person they always use the surname first. To call an acquaintance by their name would be considered informal and is frowned upon. For example, the name Eun Sun (first name) Park (surname) would be spoken Park Eun Sun. When familiar or given permission you can drop the surname. Interestingly enough even a slight inflection in the pronunciation of a name (similar to a nickname) is seen as informal.

When addressing a person of status always use their title or position first: including president, director, professor, doctor, Sunbea (senior at school). With permission a younger girl might use the term ‘Uhn-nee’ (meaning older sister) to address a female a few years older than she. A young male could call a female he is comfortable with ‘Noona’ (meaning sister). A female would call an older young male with whom she is close to ‘Oppa’.

Now on to the food! Maangchi’s tuna pancakes are amazing. My kids gobbled them all up. Do not let the word pancake confuse you. Jeon means pancake in Korean but it is basically a tuna cake. Like a crab cake. The onion and sesame oil are what what gives these little cakes flavor. I do not recommend omitting these ingredients as it would drastically change the taste.

Source: Maangchi
(Makes 6 small pancakes)
1 (5 oz) can of tuna
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons canola oil

Strain out the liquid from a can of tuna and place it in a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, sesame oil, and flour to the tuna and mix it well.

Heat oil in up a pan until hot.

Scoop a spoonful of the tuna mixture with a spoon and place it on the heated pan. Press slightly and round the edges with the spoon.

When the bottom is cooked golden brown, turn it over and cook until both sides of the pancakes are golden brown. About 3-5 minutes total.
Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and serve with rice.

Sauce: Mix the following ingredients
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
left over onions

** Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave or panfry.

Variations:
– Egg allergies: Egg can be omitted. No substitute needed.
– Gluten free: replace flour with corn flour.
Source: Maangchi

Dough:

In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, ask or 100° F), sickness 2 ts dry yeast, price ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:

In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, medical or 100° F), 2 ts dry yeast, ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, find in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it. The hot sizzling juices burned their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together.

At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that is tasty and cost nothing extra.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, nurse in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, cure tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, this web to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

Begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the chicken bones and all in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.

— Strain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Use as broth for rice or freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Lately we have been learning all we can about South Korean customs. Such as it is bad luck to pour your own drink and always take your shoes off before entering ones home. Respect is of utmost importance in South Korea. The formality of Confucianism dictates so. It is a belief in a code of honor that is viewed as old fashioned by newer generations.

Generally most Koreans are warm and giving. They live by the age old traditions that when an elder enters a room you stand up. On the bus you offer them your seat. If someone is in need you help them. When accepting a gift use both hands to take it. And always be sure to say, page  “gamsa hapnida.” (Thank you)

The relationship between people of seniority is just as important. In fact, about it when adults speak to one another they use a formal form of speech; unlike when talking to a child or how youth of the same age converse. When addressing a person they always use the surname first. To call an acquaintance by their name would be considered informal and is frowned upon. For example, the name Eun Sun (first name) Park (surname) would be spoken Park Eun Sun. When familiar or given permission you can drop the surname. Interestingly enough even a slight inflection in the pronunciation of a name (similar to a nickname) is seen as informal.

When addressing a person of status always use their title or position first: including president, director, professor, doctor, Sunbea (senior at school). With permission a younger girl might use the term ‘Uhn-nee’ (meaning older sister) to address a female a few years older than she. A young male could call a female he is comfortable with ‘Noona’ (meaning sister). A female would call an older young male with whom she is close to ‘Oppa’.

Now on to the food! Maangchi’s tuna pancakes are amazing. My kids gobbled them all up. Do not let the word pancake confuse you. Jeon means pancake in Korean but it is basically a tuna cake. Like a crab cake. The onion and sesame oil are what what gives these little cakes flavor. I do not recommend omitting these ingredients as it would drastically change the taste.

Source: Maangchi
(Makes 6 small pancakes)
1 (5 oz) can of tuna
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons canola oil

Strain out the liquid from a can of tuna and place it in a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, sesame oil, and flour to the tuna and mix it well.

Heat oil in up a pan until hot.

Scoop a spoonful of the tuna mixture with a spoon and place it on the heated pan. Press slightly and round the edges with the spoon.

When the bottom is cooked golden brown, turn it over and cook until both sides of the pancakes are golden brown. About 3-5 minutes total.
Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and serve with rice.

Sauce: Mix the following ingredients
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
left over onions

** Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave or panfry.

Variations:
– Egg allergies: Egg can be omitted. No substitute needed.
– Gluten free: replace flour with corn flour.
Source: Maangchi

Dough:

In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, ask or 100° F), sickness 2 ts dry yeast, price ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:

In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, medical or 100° F), 2 ts dry yeast, ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl add water (under 40° Celsius, approved or 100° F), stuff 2 ts dry yeast, nurse ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, more about boil chicken broth, viagra order 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
As youth my siblings and I learned to concoct edible and non edible dishes from what was available. It has been an invaluable skill living on a tight budget. The results would not always impress Chef Ramsey but it fills hungry bellies.

Present day cooking shows on the Food Network such as “Chopped” and “Master Chef” capitalize on the concept of resourcefulness with the mystery box challenges. Contestant’s skills are tested when they are required to come up with something amazing from a limited group of ingredients. Ma and Pa did not have the luxury of running to the grocery store or In & out Burger when their stores of food were not to their liking or because they were too busy. Ma surely had to prepare well and use a bit of creative ingenuity.

Cooking on the dime requires some of the same savvy planning skills. Before running off to the grocery store for a quick shop assess what is available in the pantry, check freezer and refrigerator first.

— Keep a stock of pantry staples on hand for tight times. Rice, beans, flour, pasta, and frozen leftovers like soups or casseroles can tie the masses over until pay day.

— Sites like Allrecipes have a search option for ingredients wanted and not needed. GoJee.com provides a stockpile of personalized recipes by ingredient. Plug in any allergies or a list of ingredients and get a collection of recipes tailored to your needs.

— In our home the Sunday meal is the largest meal of the week. Some traditional menu ideas might include: lasagna, chili, roasted chicken, beef roast, pork tenderloin. These are generally items that require a longer prep time than I have time for during the week. From there I plan my menu for the rest of the week. When making dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna double, even triple, the recipe to freeze for another week.

Last week I posted about creating four meals out of one using chicken. This week I want to focus on beef.

The ingredients used in shredded beef enchiladas can easily be doubled and frozen or transformed into a weeks worth of tasty meals: stew, pasta with spaghetti sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli, and beef quesadillas.

The beef may be salvaged from a left over Sunday dinner roast (meal #1 Beef roast with seasoned roasted vegetables). Season with a pinch each of the enchilada spice rub to flavor (meal #2 shredded beef enchiladas). Reserve the pot juices for stew (menu #3 beef stew or vegetable stew with beans).

For the tomato sauce mix a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, an 8-oz can of tomato paste and a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes together. [Take out the amount called for in the recipe for the enchilada sauce then save the rest for spaghetti or chicken parmesan the next night.] Heat some oil in a pot. Add half an onion- chopped , 4 cloves garlic- chopped, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cooking until onions are tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 2 hours.

Four days of meals. I think Ma and Pa would be proud.
Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, find in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it. The hot sizzling juices burned their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together.

At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that is tasty and cost nothing extra.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, nurse in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, cure tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, this web to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

Begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the chicken bones and all in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.

— Strain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Use as broth for rice or freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken.

Lately we have been learning all we can about South Korean customs. Such as it is bad luck to pour your own drink and always take your shoes off before entering ones home. Respect is of utmost importance in South Korea. The formality of Confucianism dictates so. It is a belief in a code of honor that is viewed as old fashioned by newer generations.

Generally most Koreans are warm and giving. They live by the age old traditions that when an elder enters a room you stand up. On the bus you offer them your seat. If someone is in need you help them. When accepting a gift use both hands to take it. And always be sure to say, page  “gamsa hapnida.” (Thank you)

The relationship between people of seniority is just as important. In fact, about it when adults speak to one another they use a formal form of speech; unlike when talking to a child or how youth of the same age converse. When addressing a person they always use the surname first. To call an acquaintance by their name would be considered informal and is frowned upon. For example, the name Eun Sun (first name) Park (surname) would be spoken Park Eun Sun. When familiar or given permission you can drop the surname. Interestingly enough even a slight inflection in the pronunciation of a name (similar to a nickname) is seen as informal.

When addressing a person of status always use their title or position first: including president, director, professor, doctor, Sunbea (senior at school). With permission a younger girl might use the term ‘Uhn-nee’ (meaning older sister) to address a female a few years older than she. A young male could call a female he is comfortable with ‘Noona’ (meaning sister). A female would call an older young male with whom she is close to ‘Oppa’.

Now on to the food! Maangchi’s tuna pancakes are amazing. My kids gobbled them all up. Do not let the word pancake confuse you. Jeon means pancake in Korean but it is basically a tuna cake. Like a crab cake. The onion and sesame oil are what what gives these little cakes flavor. I do not recommend omitting these ingredients as it would drastically change the taste.

Source: Maangchi
(Makes 6 small pancakes)
1 (5 oz) can of tuna
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons canola oil

Strain out the liquid from a can of tuna and place it in a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, sesame oil, and flour to the tuna and mix it well.

Heat oil in up a pan until hot.

Scoop a spoonful of the tuna mixture with a spoon and place it on the heated pan. Press slightly and round the edges with the spoon.

When the bottom is cooked golden brown, turn it over and cook until both sides of the pancakes are golden brown. About 3-5 minutes total.
Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and serve with rice.

Sauce: Mix the following ingredients
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
left over onions

** Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave or panfry.

Variations:
– Egg allergies: Egg can be omitted. No substitute needed.
– Gluten free: replace flour with corn flour.
Source: Maangchi

Dough:

In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, ask or 100° F), sickness 2 ts dry yeast, price ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:

In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, medical or 100° F), 2 ts dry yeast, ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl add water (under 40° Celsius, approved or 100° F), stuff 2 ts dry yeast, nurse ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

In a large bowl, place:
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
1½ cup chopped zucchini
1½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
In a mixing bowl, place:
400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
1 ts soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ts sesame oil
½ ts ground black pepper
Mix it by hand and set aside.
In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.
Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.
Dipping sauce:

Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.
When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Normally, treat I season fish with a little lemon and a dash of salt and pepper. One particular night I needed to spice things up a bit. It was a hard week for everybody so dinner needed to be relaxing and yummy. This recipe for seasoned tilapia fit the mood perfectly.

This recipe states the sauce is enough for two fillets. I was able to season five fillets perfectly by combining all the ingredients into a sauce first.

For the kids, prostate I lightly brushed the fillets with the seasoning. Just barely enough to give the fish some flavor. They are a tad finicky when it comes to spices. Although, they can gobble up Chevy’s salsa with no complaints.

Source: Just in a Pinch
2 (6oz.) tilapia fillets
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried parsely flakes
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Place fillets in a greased 11×7-inch baking dish.
Brush fillets with mayonnaise. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; sprinkle over fillets.

Cover and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-8 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with a side of quinoa and steamed vegetables.

Creamy Mac and Cheese

My friend was looking for something delicious to make for dinner and stumbled across Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps. We were both salivating as we stared at the picture. These wraps are super fast to make and a frugal way to use up left over chicken and rice.

Normally I have a container of plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. The past two week I switched to vanilla just for a change of taste. I like to use plain Greek yogurt in the place of sour cream in most recipes because Greek yogurt has more protein, order and less fat than sour cream. On this particular day I resorted to using a little cream cheese in the place of the sour cream. The burritos were fine. If anything they were just really creamy. So in emergencies cream cheese is ok. But next time I will make sure I specify plain yogurt on my shopping list rather than just yogurt.

Source: Adapted fromMels Kitchen Cafe
*Makes 6 wraps*
1 cup cooked rice, capsule warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheese (combination of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.

**If using sour cream dot the cheese with about 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center**

Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.

Optional: brush the tortillas all over with oil.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.

My friend was looking for something delicious to make for dinner and stumbled across Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps. We were both salivating as we stared at the picture. These wraps are super fast to make and a frugal way to use up left over chicken and rice.

Normally I have a container of plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. The past two week I switched to vanilla just for a change of taste. I like to use plain Greek yogurt in the place of sour cream in most recipes because Greek yogurt has more protein, order and less fat than sour cream. On this particular day I resorted to using a little cream cheese in the place of the sour cream. The burritos were fine. If anything they were just really creamy. So in emergencies cream cheese is ok. But next time I will make sure I specify plain yogurt on my shopping list rather than just yogurt.

Source: Adapted fromMels Kitchen Cafe
*Makes 6 wraps*
1 cup cooked rice, capsule warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheese (combination of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.

**If using sour cream dot the cheese with about 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center**

Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.

Optional: brush the tortillas all over with oil.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.
If you have tile then you know how dirty grout can become. Here are several homemade cleaners that are affordable and actually work.

For Basic Cleaning:
Combine: equal parts table salt, sale baking soda and white vinegar into a bowl. Mix to form a paste. Use a sponge to scrub the mixture into the grout. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, stomach then wipe the grout clean with a damp rag.

Mold and Mildew:
For Colored GroutDampen a rag with white vinegar and scrub. Let sit for a few minutes. Wash grout with soapy water and rinse.

For Light Colored Grout1:1 ratio of bleach or use Hydrogen Peroxide. Spray the peroxide onto the grout. Let it sit for five minutes, drug then wipe the grout clean with a wet rag.

Hard Core Grout Cleaner for Floors and Bathrooms:
Combine: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup household ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 7 cups warm water.
Scrub grout with mixture using a toothbrush or grout brush.

My friend was looking for something delicious to make for dinner and stumbled across Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps. We were both salivating as we stared at the picture. These wraps are super fast to make and a frugal way to use up left over chicken and rice.

Normally I have a container of plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. The past two week I switched to vanilla just for a change of taste. I like to use plain Greek yogurt in the place of sour cream in most recipes because Greek yogurt has more protein, order and less fat than sour cream. On this particular day I resorted to using a little cream cheese in the place of the sour cream. The burritos were fine. If anything they were just really creamy. So in emergencies cream cheese is ok. But next time I will make sure I specify plain yogurt on my shopping list rather than just yogurt.

Source: Adapted fromMels Kitchen Cafe
*Makes 6 wraps*
1 cup cooked rice, capsule warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheese (combination of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.

**If using sour cream dot the cheese with about 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center**

Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.

Optional: brush the tortillas all over with oil.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.
If you have tile then you know how dirty grout can become. Here are several homemade cleaners that are affordable and actually work.

For Basic Cleaning:
Combine: equal parts table salt, sale baking soda and white vinegar into a bowl. Mix to form a paste. Use a sponge to scrub the mixture into the grout. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, stomach then wipe the grout clean with a damp rag.

Mold and Mildew:
For Colored GroutDampen a rag with white vinegar and scrub. Let sit for a few minutes. Wash grout with soapy water and rinse.

For Light Colored Grout1:1 ratio of bleach or use Hydrogen Peroxide. Spray the peroxide onto the grout. Let it sit for five minutes, drug then wipe the grout clean with a wet rag.

Hard Core Grout Cleaner for Floors and Bathrooms:
Combine: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup household ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 7 cups warm water.
Scrub grout with mixture using a toothbrush or grout brush.

I have been searching for a mac and cheese recipe that does not contain canned soup or processed cheese. Better yet this recipe does not require flour and can be made completely gluten free just by substituting gluten free pasta for regular pasta. The first time I made this I was overcome with shock at how creamy the pasta came out.

Sadly my subsequent attempts were not as successful. This recipe works great with smaller pastas that cook quickly such as elbow and small shells or gluten free varieties. The larger the pasta the longer it takes to cook and more liquid is needed.

I thought the original recipe was a bit bland so I added the minced garlic and a couple tablespoons ghee or oil before adding the remaining ingredients.The original recipe says to use whole milk. This is primarily because their family drinks raw milk. I have used fat free milk and rice milk without any problems. I cut the milk down by a cup substituting water for the third cup.

Pair with grilled fish or shrimp and a side of peas or steamed broccoli.

source: Adapted from Heavenly Homemakers
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, troche minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 1/2 cups elbow pasta (or other small pasta)
2 cups milk
1 cup water
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the melted butter until fragrant, cost about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, water and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, STIRRING ALMOST CONSTANTLY, until the pasta is tender (10-15 minutes).

Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve immediately.

Variations:
– Gluten Free Pastas: rice pasta, quinoa pasta.
– Casein allergies: almond milk, rice milk.
– Cheeses: parmesan/cheddar blend, gouda/gruyere blend, ramano or vegan cheddar cheese.