Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summertime Tips

Hi everyone, so today I am going to talk to you about summertime tips and tricks that you can do at home to make life a bit easier and less time consuming, also a little less taxing on the budget.  Im from New England born and raised, it doesn't get too hot but comfortable to do an array of activities.  The last thing anyone wants to do is to be strapped to a stove all summer long.  Granted I love to cook but that is not all I love to do.  So with all being said here are some tips for you to manage less time cooking and a lot more time being with friends and family and perhaps taking that unexpected trip to a park for some much needed hiking. 

Tip #1

Do not sweat the small stuff, what I mean by that is if a recipe seems to be a bit complicated do not do it or change it around so it will be less time consuming to make.  Think of recipes as a suggestion than a bible verse.

Tip #2

Use rainy cold days as your cooking day.  I mean exactly that, where I am from we have rainy and cold days.  I understand that our friends and family in the south do not have cold days however they do have central air.  So my suggestion is crank up the central air and cook up all proteins that you can use through out the week or month.  Things like beans and meats take more time to cook stock up on freezer bags for the things you will save for the month and use your storage containers for things to make through out the week.

Tip # 3

Try to limit your time in the grocery store by doing one big grocery haul a month.  I know for some that is hard to do but believe me it will save you time.  Instead of going once a week where impulse buys are awaiting you, when you go once a month most if not all the ingredients you need will be at your finger tips.  

Tip # 4

Learn to make your own take out food.  So you really love the salads from the store down the road but you never bothered try to make it yourself.  This is an opportunity to save money and time.  With salads all you have to do is look at the salad and figure out what they put in it and make it at home.  It will save you time and money that you can use to put in your gas tank.

Tip # 5

Enjoy and relax its summer, if you keep it simple and learn to make things at home instead of getting take out you will be all the better for it.  Utilize your rainy days and maybe some of your evenings too. 

Tip # 6

Stock up on ready to eat fruits and veggies.  These little take and go items are packed with nutrition and when you buy them in season they are less expensive.  They are quick for salads, kabobs  or just a quick snack on the go.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  Adjust them to fit your lifestyle again these tips are not set in stone and I am sure some of you have your own summer tips.  Whatever the case may be nothing is more important than those you love and those that love you.  Live, laugh and love all !

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Glazes of Glory

Hello everyone, so tomorrow is Easter I hope you all are prepared.  For those of us with small children Easter can be a very busy time for us.  How many of you forgot to get Easter baskets after getting all the goodies?  Ummm guilty over here !  Hey at this rate I am lucky I remember my kids's names let alone baskets and such.  And let's not get started on all the things you need at the grocery store.  Because I do so much cooking I try to make things as simple as possible on holidays.  Yes everyone I am the naughty one that has been known to make stove top stuffing on Thanksgiving, used canned yams for Christmas and bought the bright red cherry jarred glaze for Easter.  Now I know how to make these items without the store's help but why cant these days be a little break for myself as well?  I ask of you where is the mercy on us mom who try to get a little help from the store when keeping holiday's traditional?  Yeah that was a mouthful, case in point its a lot to remember.  So with all of that being said I will admit it I forgot my red store bought cherry glaze this year.  So I am going to take through a series of different glazes that I am toying with for tomorrow.  These are just some ideas I have floating around in my head and if it helps some of you out tomorrow this blog has done some multi tasking all on its own.  So here are some brain storms for glazes.

Brainstorm Idea #1

Brown sugar glaze.

1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Mix ingredients into a bowl and rub all over the ham.  Bake covered until last 30 minutes of cooking and then uncover.  The sugar will be all gooey and yummy and the heat from the cayenne and salt will give it a sweet and spicy flavor.  
FYI you may need to add more depending on how big your ham is.

Brainstorm Idea #2

Mustard Glaze

1/2 cup of raye's mustard sweet and spicy
 (if you do not have raye's mustard near you, go to their website or just use a sweet and spicy mustard you know and love)
1 teaspoon of minced onion

Mix ingredients together and rub all over the ham. Bake as you would normally bake your ham.
(  Hey I grew up in the same town might as well give em some free advertisement.

FYI you may need to add more depending on how big your ham is.

Brainstorm Idea #3

Maple Glaze

1/2 cup of your favorite maple syrup, the good stuff guys come on its Easter dont be cheap
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flake

Mix ingredients together rub all over ham and bake. 

FYI you may need to add more depending on how big your ham is.

Finally the last brainstorm
Brainstorm #4

Lemon Simple syrup Glaze

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar

In a small sauce pan add the water to the sugar heat on low heat.  Continually stir just until the sugar is dissolved into the water and it thickens. It will create a syrup.  From here juice a myer lemon or a reg. lemon and add the zest.  That is the color of the outside of the lemon.  Do not add any part of the white peeling it will be bitter. Give the simple syrup a stir and let cool to room temp.  Pour it over your ham and let it bake.

Which ever glaze you choose to use I hope you all have a wonderful Easter.  Live, laugh and love all  Godbless.