Category Archives: rice

Kitchen Tip Thursdays: Types of Vinegars and Ways to Use Them

Happy Thursday Everyone!! We hope you enjoyed your holiday. It’s almost time for the weekend. Today in the kitchen we are going to talk about vinegar. We will explore different types of vinegar and ways to use them into your everyday meals.

Vinegar can be used to create a marinade, a sauce, a vinaigrette, or just add a burst of flavor to a dish. Store vinegar in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and they should last six to eight months.

Red Wine Vinegar is made from fermented red wine, has a bold flavor. Can used for braises, dressings, a simple vinaigrette and marinades.

White Wine Vinegar is mostly used to make creamy dressings, adds flavor to reductions and sauces like hollandaise and Bearnaise.

Champagne Vinegar is made from the same grapes as champagne, pinot noir, and chardonnay. Less acidic than red or white wine; can have a sweet, delicate flavor to it.

Sherry Vinegar is mostly used in Spanish cooking. It’s sweet and tart with a complex flavor. Often used with red meats, and to flavor soups and sauces.

Rice Vinegar is very popular is Asian cuisine. Lightly acidic and has a sweet taste.

Apple Cider Vinegar is mostly commonly used in BBQ sauces and marinades. It can also be used as a rinse for your hair.

Distilled White Vinegar has a very high acidic level. Commonly used for pickling vegetables.

Balsamic Vinegar is popular in Italian cuisine and made from white grape juice in a wooden cask. Usually ferments for a minimum of 12 years. Used a lot in dressings and vinaigrettes.

What vinegars do you like to use when cooking?


Taste Test Tuesday: Minute Ready to Serve Rice

We can help

Finding creative ways to kick up your lunch, dinner or even a snack can be challenging. But Minute Rice is here to help you out. Sometimes you are looking for something sweet but you don’t want to eat that cupcake or pull out that stash of candy bars that’s in your desk drawer. Grab a cup of fruit and some Minute Ready to Serve Rice. We’ve chosen the Brown Rice because we like the nutty flavor and it’s healthy. Adding fruit to your meals not only cuts your sweet tooth craving but allows you to get the nutrients that you need in your everyday meal options.

     

Alternative Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

Sliced Peaches

1 Cup of Minutes Ready to Serve Rice

Cinnamon, optional

Brown Sugar, optional

Directions:

 1. Cook the Minutes Ready to Serve Rice in the microwave as directed.

 2. Heat peaches in 20 intervals or until warm.

3. Combine peaches and rice. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar and enjoy.

This is a great afternoon snack or dessert. I tried cooking the peaches on the stove and in the microwave, both worked great. While making this, the kids smelled the peaches and came running into the kitchen. I had to make more so they could have some. If you have problems getting your kids to eat rice, add some fruit to it. This took all of five minutes to make and it was yummy. If you want a more cobbler-like taste, add some granola and a dollop of whipped cream.

Minute Rice has great recipes for you to choose from. It makes dinner a fun experience and it’s quick and easy too. They have great flavorful varieties of rice that can be made in under 5 minutes. Take a look at what they have to offer and you won’t be disappointed.

Minute® Ready to Serve Rice is an ideal portable solution for lunch or breakfast because you can eat it on the go, straight from the cup. In just 60 seconds, you have fully cooked rice for any meal or snack. You’ll never get bored with your lunch since there are 10 flavorful and wholesome varieties. If you’re looking for a healthy option, Minute® Ready to Serve Rice provides easy portion control since it’s conveniently packaged in two individual single-serve cups.

Visit http://www.minuterice.com/ for recipes, including Minute® Ready to Serve Stir it Up recipe ideas and more information about the Minute® Rice family of products.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Ready to Serve Rice.


Kitchen Tip Thursday ‘Pantry Staples’

It’s Thursday, so that means it’s Kitchen Tip Thursday! Today’s tips are all about Pantry staples. These are items you should always have on hand.

Garlic: Slice, dice it,  mince it, crush it, roast it, sauté it, grill it. You can buy fresh garlic in whole cloves or already chopped in a jar if you don’t want to do the work. 

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil: EVOO as some call it. You need some type of fat to cook in. This has antioxidants that help lower cholesterol and give your food flavor. 


Stocks or Broths: Use broths in place of water to add some zip to your dishes like rice, string beans or cabbage.

Spaghetti Sauce:  Great shelf life, buy a variety of flavors to have on hand. Quick meals, just add pasta.

Dry Pasta: Yes pasta, all shapes and sizes. Just add spaghetti sauce or EVOO and you have a meal. You can add vegetables, seafood, poultry or beef. 

Rice: Quick-cook, whole grain, long grain, flavored. Brings a variety to your meal, just add veggies or some meat.

Canned Tuna or Salmon:  Mix eggs and breadcrumbs and you’ll have some patties. Quick sandwich to put together, add some cheese. On a Summer afternoon mix together with some pasta for a quick salad. Choose water-packed tuna.

 Dry Beans: Dry beans taste better than canned beans. Allow time for beans to soak. If you are new to beans start with black, kidney and pinto beans in your pantry. You can always have canned beans on hand, especially if you are in a rush.

Peanut Butter: Great on sandwiches but get creative. Add to dishes to create an Asian flare. Use it as a snack with crackers or veggies. Also great for cookies!

Canned Tomatoes: Salsa, pasta, potatoes. Fresh tomatoes are nice but when they are out of season these are next in line.

 Baking Soda and Powder: Baking recipes call for them. Helps with cleaning and keeps your fridge fresh.

 Onions: Red or Yellow. Great for sauteing meats, add to pasta dishes or salads. Gives off a great flavor.

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Use stock instead of water when cooking vegetables and deglazing pans.

Convection Oven: An oven equipped with a fan that provides continuous circulation of hot air around the food.

Pinch: The amount of dry ingredients you can hold in a pinch (between your thumb & forefinger). It’s equivalent to 1/16 teaspoon

Out of brown sugar, mix granulated sugar and molasses together.

Spray measuring cups or spoons with cooking spray before measuring honey or molasses.

Broccoli stalks, carrot tops, onion peelings, and celery stalks can be added to soups and sauces to give flavor.

If you need only 1/2 an onion, save the root half. It will last longer.

Roasts should be allowed to “rest” 10-15 minutes after being removed from the oven. This allows the juices to settle before carving.

Leave a thin layer of fat on steaks and roasts during cooking to preserve juiciness.

When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.


Foodie Friday: ‘Cantina Bell’ the Gourmet Menu from Taco Bell

Happy Friday Everyone!! Today’s edition of Foodie Friday is going to be a little different. We usually give you a few of our favorite recipes and ideas for menu planning, but not today. On Wednesday Taco Bell made an announcement that they are going to launch a gourmet menu in their restaurants. We know what you are thinking, ‘gourmet’ and ‘Taco Bell’ just don’t seem to mix, but wait until you see the menu and it just might win you over.

The Cantina Bell menu will feature a line of bowls and burritos inspired by Chef Lorena Garcia; from NBC’s show America’s Next Great Restaurant. All items are guaranteed to be under $5.00 and will launch nationwide on July 5th.

 

The new menu promotes eight ingredients including cilantro rice, whole black beans, all white meat chicken marinated in citrus and herbs, fire-roasted corn salsa, guacamole made from Hass avocados, a creamy cilantro dressing, romaine lettuce, and pico de gallo.

Side dishes are also an option which will feature chips and pico de gallo or the fire-roasted corn salsa, chips and guacamole, black beans and cilantro rice; each will be $1.49.

Pricing is below for the two main items the Cantina Bowl and the Cantina Burrito.

Cantina Bowl: Chicken ($4.79), Veggie ($4.79), Steak ($4.99)
Cantino Burrito: Chicken ($4.79), Veggie ($4.79), Steak ($4.99)

Here is the breakdown of the new menu, provided by Taco Bell:

  • Black Beans: We use black beans, not refried, and add a Latin Spice Blend of onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, with other ingredients
  • Cilantro Rice: Rice cooked in a cilantro seasoning that features onion, garlic, cilantro and parsley
  • Citrus and Herb Marinated Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breast marinade that features garlic, onion, lemon, cilantro and tomatillo
  • New Guacamole: Lorena-inspired guacamole made with Hass avocados, and blended with tomato, jalapeno, onion, cilantro and lemon juice and other ingredients
  • Fire-Roasted Corn Salsa: Super Sweet yellow corn and fresh red and green bell peppers, fire roasted, with our Latin Spice Blend
  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing: Lorena-inspired Creamy Cilantro dressing features cilantro blended with oil, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic, and other ingredients
  • Pico de Gallo: Diced tomatoes and onions blended with fresh chopped cilantro and a tangy dressing made with lemon juice and vinegar

Be sure to check out the the ‘Cantina Bell‘ menu from Taco Bell starting July 5th.

As always we appreciate your support and any feedback you may have.