Tag Archives: cooking

Mesh Ball Tea Infuser Repurposed

SNAP TEA DIFFUSERA number of you attempted to make a roux (fat+flour sauce base) this weekend. Some of you started to add flour to the warm milk and butter and it clumped up like gummy balls.  Others experienced grittiness.  Most of us have a snap style mesh ball tea infuser rattling around inside a drawer.  Try adding the flour using the mesh ball infuser.  For instance, if you are making mac-n-cheese with a Béchamel (milk+butter+flour)fill the infuser with flour and gently tap the infuser against the side of the pan to disperse a gentle dusting.  No clumps.  Need an even sprinkle of  powdered sugar on cookies?  Try administering the sweet sugarfrost with the infuser.  Sifters can be unwieldy, with an infuser you better control the mess.   Making a meringue or angel food cake?  This is a great technique for adding sugar without collapsing your eggy fluff.  SIFT

spices, girl

Cumin imbues deeply warm flavor to beans and soup.

Auspicious Turmeric possesses major health benefits and is currently the subject of a number of studies.  Sprinkle the yellow spice on almost anything for pleasing color and miraculous anti-inflammatory properties.

Paprika spikes dishes with antioxidants and color.  Try it on homemade mac-n-cheese to create a mysterious smokiness.

Pair Black Pepper with all the aforementioned spices.  It dramatically increases the bio-availability and absorption of other nutrients and minerals like selenium, vitamin B, beta-carotene and curcumin and also amplifies serotonin and beta-endorphin production in the brain.

Demeter Clarc Manners Moment: Thanks for the Hospitality

As far-flung relatives fling themselves back to wherever they came from, the horror stories of bad manners, ungrateful behavior, and petty criticisms have begun to trickle in from weary hosts.  Since apparently many of us are totally lacking in self-awareness, here are a few examples of how we drive our thankless hosts to the brink.

Even though curious and tempted, don’t snoop.  Most obviously, it is rude and invasive.  When you go where you aren’t supposed to, you may not like what you find.  Even though I’m a big proponent of honesty, guests should compliment and not criticize.  Not feeling flush with praise?  Then just shut the fuck up.  Don’t feel the need to fill the silence with negative picky noise. Arrive and depart in a timely fashion.  When a person prepares an elaborate sit down meal, timing matters.  Your tardiness fucks up the delicate order.  On the flip side, hosts please plan your meal with room to spare.  Nobody really enjoys waiting four hours to eat.  A substantial wait guarantees that guests will get hungry, cranky and bitchy. 

Copper Pots & Cast Iron Skillets

Many of us are living with hand-me-down pots and pans, and that’s fine for a time.  When you get serious about cooking, you start to get equally serious about your equipment. A few years ago, I received a set of Rachel Ray cookware as a gift.  The set is okay, but not spectacular.  The hard-anodized pans are better than the enamel non-stick.  Despite this collection, what I really love and use daily are my copper pots and cast iron skillet.   My copper pots heat quickly, cook evenly, and nothing sticks.  Why bother with the potential hazards of teflon and flaking non-stick coating?  As far as I’m concerned, copper and cast iron is all I need.


Don’t forget about the Marshmallow Fluff.  It’s a great alternative to using marshmallows which contain gelatin.  Use marshmallow creme to make vegetarian-friendly rice treats and s’mores.  Ricemellow for the vegans.

Marshmallow-in-a-jar makes a delicious icing too and is much lighter than many other options based in butter or cheese.