“World big place. Many many foods.”
- When I portion out soups and stews, I use a half-cup ladle. Each serving is one heaping scoop from the bottom, and a second scoop of mostly liquid, dipped from the top — hence, a serving is “a heaping cup.” Of course, amounts will vary based on cooking time and other factors, but that’s the serving breakdown which I use to calculate nutritional information.
- I often use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, for the health benefits as well as the unique, tart flavor.
- When a recipe calls for Parmesan cheese, buy a good-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano. You should be able to see the words stenciled on the rind. Save the rinds for stock.
- When you have chicken bones left over from a meal, make a rich stock that will taste much better than store-bought broth. Put the bones in a soup pot and cover with water. Add an onion and a garlic bulb, each sliced in half. You can also add aging vegetables from your fridge: carrots, celery, etc. Sprinkle in some peppercorns and add a sprig of rosemary if you have some in your garden. Bring to just under a boil and simmer, covered, for about two hours. Strain into another pot using a colander lined with cheesecloth. Refrigerate overnight and skim off the fat. Freeze in 2-cup containers for later use.
- Italian seasoning is a blend of basil, oregano, and other spices. You can buy it in most stores.
- Herbes de Provence is a blend of thyme and other spices.
- Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. You can substitute ground cinnamon.
- Oils should be purchased in small quantities and used quickly, before they go rancid. When buying olive oil, choose extra-virgin. Canola oil should be organic and expeller-pressed. Keep a small bottle of sesame oil in the refrigerator for flavoring.