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Food Emergency! Dial 0 for Help

Food Emergency!

My Story

This last week I had a food emergency. Not a “finances emergency” where I had no money for food. It’s not a “by the way, all ten of us are coming over for dinner” type of emergency. Not even an “I have nothing to eat in the house” emergency. A weather emergency. Like, I couldn’t get out of the house emergency.

Why Would You Have a Food Emergency?

Weather can create havoc when it comes time to cook. It’s too cold or hot to leave the house. You are trapped by snow or rain. Or worse, a melting sun. 

We aren’t even talking about the electrical problems emergency. Let’s not even go there. That’s a totally separate post.

There are always times when you need to eat, but don’t have all the fresh ingredients for a meal. The fridge is bare of freshness.

Maybe you’ve been eating out every day for the last month, and forgot how to cook? Naw!

Or you flat out don’t want to make something fresh for dinner. You are lazy and don’t want to use your brain. Happens to me ALL the time!

What is a diyhomegoddess to do?

Have Food Emergency Supplies for Any Event

You might not ever need this, but it’s always good to have something in the freezer. What happens if you need a quick meal and you don’t have time to think about it?

  • “Mom, I am supposed to bring cookies for a bake sale tomorrow”.
  • “Mom, I’m starving. I need to eat before I faint!”
  • “Honey, I invited the boss over for dinner. I don’t need anything fancy, I just want to schmooze a bit so I get that promotion”.

A Food Emergency Freezer

You might be like me, and have a small freezer. After all, I have a tiny kitchen, so I need a tiny refrigerator to match. But there is always room for some emergency food. Here’s what I always have in my freezer, for any food emergency.

Staples

  • A chopped white or yellow or red onion. Do it in a small dice, so you always have a couple of tablespoons of onion if needed. Before you ask, the stores do sell chopped frozen onion, but you can DIY it cheaper. And get dicing practice on the side. I’ve tried other veggies like carrots and celery, but they are mush when they get thawed, so you need to cook them from the frozen state, and deal with the excess water.
  • Ice cubes of tomato paste. The reason for this is there are many recipes calling for 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. So you open a 6 ounce can of tomato paste, use like 1/4 of it for the recipe. What do you do with the rest? Toss it? Nope! Put 2 tablespoons of tomato paste in each ice cube tray spot , freeze, then put the cubes into a zip lock bag. You will always have tomato paste at the ready. The other options are  buying one of those tubes to tomato paste (looks like toothpaste concept) or get tomato powder from a spice shop. My favorite is spice shop is here.
  • You can do the same ice cube trick with coconut milk. Usually it’s the same problem. You only use a part of the can in any recipe, unless it is uber coconut heavy.
  • A pound of salted butter for spreading on those lovely rolls you have.
  • A pound of unsalted butter for baking.
  • Tortillas to make an emergency quesadilla.
  • SOME shredded cheese like Mozzarella, Gouda, or Cheddar. Mind you though, these should never be eaten ‘raw’, use them in recipes only.

Meals

  • Individual Servings, or pairs, or family sized servings of homemade:
    • Chili (with or without beans)
    • Spaghetti sauce (with or without meat
    • Beef Stew 
    • Your Favorite Soup
    • HINT: This can be leftovers from meals (great for individual serving emergencies) or just make an batch and throw it directly in the freezer when cooled. The only suggestion this diyhomegoddess has is if you are making a full batch to put in the freezer, don’t put any pasta in there if you add some. Wait till it is being heated up. That will deflect the mushy mess.
  • A simple casserole. Chunked cooked chicken breast. Sautéed veggies (might I suggest the holy trinity). Cream of mushroom soup and Lipton’s onion soup mix. Toss in some rice. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top maybe? Warm it all up in the oven for about 20 minutes. If you use an aluminum foil baking pan, you can recycle after, no dish to scrub!
  • Do you make homemade lasagna? Make two batches and pt one in the freezer when cool.
  • Something to just keep in the freezer is a bag of frozen rolls. They are ready to cook, and make the house smell really good!

Deserts

  • Some poached pears or other fruit. These will make a good emergency dessert with the ice cream I know you have in the freezer. Here’s a recipe for poached pears here.
  • Cookies! Every time you make a batch of cookies throw one dozen in the freezer. After a couple of baking sessions, you will have a good variety. You will always have emergency cookies for that kids bake sale he told you about the night before, or you have friends coming over to chat for the afternoon. Everyone will think you spent days making cookies. As long as you thawed them out fully, no one will ever know. It will be a secret between us diyhomegoddesses.
  • A layer cake, sans frosting. Thaw it out, and grab one of those tubs of frosting I know all you diyhomegoddesses have hidden from me.

And Voila!

There you have it. Food emergency avoided! 

What kinds of food do you like to keep in the freezer for a just in case moment?

BASIC COOKING TECHNIQUES – 10 OF THEM COURTESY OF SUR LA TABLE

BASIC COOKING TECHNIQUES

10 Basic Cooking Techniques

My Story

I know how to cook fancy stuff, but did I know the basic cooking techniques every diyhomegoddess should know? The basis for cooking? The ones, if you know these, you can do anything? I didn’t know.

A couple of months ago, I went to a Sur La Table class on ’10 Skills Every Cook Should Know’. To see if I knew them all. I am in the process of petitioning Sur La Table to give ‘degrees’ after you attend so many classes. I think I’m ready for a formal cooking degree from them!

What Are These Skills?

You know how to bake. And you know how to cook. When you watch the Food Network, the Cooking Channel, even PBS, do you understand what they are talking about? Do you know the terms for the skills you amassed, which are thrown around like they are the word cat? 

Prepare yourself to be educated! Read more

Kitchen Gadgets for the Diyhomegoddess

KITCHEN GADGETSkITCHEN GADGETS

I admit it. “Hello, my name is diyhomegoddess, and I am a kitchen gadgets addict”.

My Story

Kitchen gadgets

This is the Alexa, a great timer and music when cooking!

Okay, you are supposed to say “Hello, diyhomegoddess”. Hello? Is anyone out there with my problem? I am sure there is. Alton Brown says don’t buy anything that you can’t find at least two uses for. And don’t buy anything just to have it. But I can’t help it! I have everything under the sun I can afford and have room for (well, maybe I’ve run out of room).

I take lots of cooking classes, and whenever there is a new thing used in the class I don’t have, if I like the recipe, I will buy it. Right now, I only have two gadgets I’ve never used. A hot oil fryer (don’t know why I haven’t used it!) and a Spiralizer (my family hates veggies, and I’m trying to figure out how to get them to try something tasty).

But how many kitchen gadgets is too many kitchen gadgets?

How Many Kitchen Gadgets Does a Chef Goddess Need?

Okay, I won’t give you a tour of my entire kitchen. There is only room for two chefs in my kitchen, and sometimes that’s pushing it. You may never escape once you enter! I don’t want to be responsible for losing someone’s mother, wife, or partner in my little kitchen.

Read more

Spice Blends – It’s All About the Flavors!

spice blendsSpice Blends- It’s all about the Flavors!

Why do I need spice blends, you are asking. My dear diy home goddesses! Ethnic cuisines have a specific flair to them. It’s not always based on the foods being made, it’s more to deal with the spices that go with it.

Yeah, people say Greek, and this diy home goddess instantly thinks of lamb and feta cheese. But, it’s also prevalent in Middle Eastern, Aussie, some French and Italian dishes. And it’s an alternative in America to ham at Easter.

A stew can host a lot of ethnic varieties, such as American, Hungarian, French, Spanish, German, Caribbean, Italian… you get the point.

Sometimes, flavor depends on the ingredients used. But the best way to bring ethnic flair to a meal is through spice blends. And it’s easy peasy to do that with staple spices you probably already have in your kitchen.

Many recipes have a list of spice ingredients. But let’s say you are a true diy home goddess, and are just throwing ingredients together to make up your own dish. Or let’s say you want rice or chicken or steak, and you want a kick instead of the same old boring, plain dish. Here’s where you can make your own spice blends and put them to good use.

If you want, you can buy packets of the spice blend or jars of it, ready to use. Or you can be a true diy home goddess and throw the combinations together with what you have in your spice rack. That way you can make the spice blend as needed. And it saves money!  Read more

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